Deforestation could double unless we act now

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 29 Nov 2011

It’s possible to reduce deforestation to near zero by 2020, but delaying action to save forests by even a decade means double the area of forests lost by 2030, says WWF.

Our forests are disappearing while we sort out how to save them

According to the latest chapter of WWF’s Living Forests Report, “Forests and Climate”, the world stands to lose 55.5 million hectares of forest between now and 2020, even if we take urgent action to reduce deforestation. If the world delays the necessary steps, we stand to lose 124.7 million hectares by 2030, according to the report.

These forests are not only vital to the well-being of people and wildlife, but also to the global climate, because deforestation releases greenhouse gases, says WWF. The report finds that reducing deforestation to near zero would also bring global emissions from forest destruction close to zero, but delaying this reduction until 2030 would mean sacrificing an additional 69 million hectares of forest worldwide and at least an additional 24Gt CO2 into the atmosphere, not including losses from forest degradation or the carbon stored below ground. Currently, up to 20 per cent of global carbon emissions come from deforestation and forest degradation – more than the total emissions from the global transportation sector.

The report further finds that new plantations are not the solution, as they will not begin to sequester enough carbon to offset emissions from deforestation until 2040 at the earliest.

“Our forests are disappearing while we sort out how to save them,” said Bruce Cabarle, Leader of WWF’s Forest and Climate Initiative. “This continued loss of forests will have dire consequences for our global climate, for nature and for the livelihoods of billions of people. And we know we can’t plant our way out of the problem. The message is clear – we must act now to protect the world’s forests for good or we’ll lose them forever.” Continue reading Deforestation could double unless we act now

Amazon forest destruction accelerates

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 04 Aug 2011

Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon accelerated in June, with more than 300 square kilometers destroyed, a 17 percent increase over the previous month, government researchers said Tuesday.

Massive deforestation has made Brazil one of […]

Forests play a critical role in Earth’s carbon balance

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 18 July 2011

Until now, scientists were uncertain about how much and where in the world terrestrial carbon is being stored. In the July 14 issue of Science Express, scientists report that, between 1990 and 2007, the […]

Acacia project to turn the tide on desertification

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 11 June 2011

An FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations] pilot project that has proved a great success in combating desertification is to be rolled out more widely in an attempt to turn African drylands back into fertile land.

The Acacia offers many benefits.

With two thirds of the African continent now classified as desert or drylands and desertification affecting a quarter of the world’s population, the breakthrough has the potential to transform the lives of vulnerable populations.  In operation since 2004, the Acacia project has involved the planting and managing of Acacia forests in arid lands helping combat desertification while providing socio-economic benefits to local communities.

Fatou Seye, her husband and their six children live in the village of Thiékene Ndiaye in Senegal’s drylands. Now 50 years old, Fatou remembers how different the land looked during her own childhood. “When I was young, the land was so much greener with a much greater diversity of plant species,” she recalls.

Here, as in much of the Sahel – the 5000-kilometre belt of land that divides the Sahara desert from the rest of Africa – vegetation has been disappearing. Continue reading Acacia project to turn the tide on desertification

Business must back bold target to stop forest loss

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 28 April 2011

Policymakers and business leaders must quickly back a bold target to stop forest loss as part of efforts to conserve biodiversity and fight climate change, according to a new WWF report.

Borneo is an example of how business and government both work towards sustainable forest management

The first chapter of WWF’s Living Forests Report, released today, examines the drivers of deforestation and identifies the opportunities to shift from business as usual to a new model of sustainability, which can benefit government, business and communities.

Based on a new global analysis showing that more than 230 million hectares of forest will disappear by 2050 if no action is taken, the report proposes that policymakers and businesses unite around a goal of zero net deforestation and forest degradation (ZNDD) by 2020 as a groundbreaking global benchmark to avoid dangerous climate change and curb biodiversity loss.

“We are squandering forests now by failing to sort out vital policy issues such as governance and economic incentives to keep forests standing,” said Rod Taylor, WWF International Forests Director.

Business and governments need forests

The first chapter of the report comes as business and political leaders meet this week in Jakarta, Indonesia, for the Business 4 Environment Global Summit (B4E). The conference will be addressed by His Excellency Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of the Republic of Indonesia. Continue reading Business must back bold target to stop forest loss