Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Benefits of reducing deforestation in combatting climate change

24 August 2009. Nairobi. New agroforestry study shows that almost half of all farmed landscapes worldwide include significant tree cover.

Released on at the opening of the 2nd World Congress of Agroforestry being held in Nairobi Kenya, this is the first study to quantify the extent to which trees are a vital part of agricultural production in all regions of the world. It reveals that on more than 1 billion hectares-which make up 46 percent of the world's farmlands and are home to more than half a billion people-tree cover exceeds 10 percent.

Research findings presented today by scientists participating in a symposium on adaptation to climate change during the World Congress on Agroforestry suggest there is much potential for broadening carbon sequestration strategies to include agroforestry.

In a presentation on findings from the recent global assessment “Adaptation of Forests and People to Climate Change,” Risto Seppala of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) emphasized the vulnerability of forests to even minor changes in temperature. “Successful mitigation requires that forests retain their capacity to adapt,” he noted. “The alternative is a potentially catastrophic ‘feedback loop’, in which degraded forests lose their ability to sequester carbon.”