Thursday, September 22, 2011

How to ensure sustainable forest management?

Sustainable forest management is one of the prerequisites for our future wellbeing. Why? Because forests are areas with rich biodiversity that provide us with services and goods on which our wellbeing depends upon. Forests help regulate climate, supply health, energy and livelihood to our society.

Even despite the enormous importance of our forests thousands of hectares of forest are lost each year. Deforestation is the worst in Indonesia and Africa where tropical rainforests are disappearing at an alarming rate.

Our forests, especially rainforests, are together with our oceans the most important carbon sinkers, therefore very helpful in reducing the total climate change impact. The forest loss around the globe does not only mean less absorbed carbon emissions but is also releasing billions of tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Current forest conservation efforts haven't been very successful and world needs to find quick solution(s) to preserve forests for our future generations. Among the proposed solutions are establishing more protected areas such as national and state parks, ensure better land-use planning and improve the current management of protected areas.

In order to give positive results all these solutions need big funding. By big funds I mean the tens of billions of dollars in the next decade because without such large funds we won't be able to halt the current forest loss.

The question that raises itself is how to ensure such a large-scale financing? The WWF believes that the solution for this may lie in forest bonds. Don Kanak, Advisor to WWF's Forest and Climate Initiative said that "we can't wait until the last tree has fallen to find this large-scale of finance. Forest bonds may be a promising way to close that short-term gap in financing so our forests don't slip away while we sort out how we're going to fund their long-term conservation."

The form of financing isn't as relevant as financing itself - the most important thing is to obtain the money for forests conservation, regardless of the finance tools used in the process.

Our forests need to be preserved at any cost. World has to do anything in its power to save the forest from disappearing. Our future may well depend on it.

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