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.
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