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News

Jul 28, 2014

The Romanian government, Greenpeace and WWF have started the nomination process for the virgin beech forests of Romania to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage list. The designation process and all the procedures related to it will take approximately two years.

Jul 25, 2014

The benefits of using native species in large scale rehabilitation and restoration projects are highlighted in a new publication from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

News

Aug 28, 2013

European forests may be reaching saturation point as a carbon sink

The assumption that forests will provide a persistent carbon sink for decades to come may no longer be valid, according to an article published in Nature Climate Change.

Researchers have found signs of a recent slow-down in the volume increment of trees and in net forest area expansion, as well as an increase in natural disturbances such as fires, storms and insects, leading to higher CO2 emissions. Despite the increased rates of reforestation and forest growth in Europe since the 1950s, managed forests in Europe appear to be closer to maximum stocking than was previously thought. Carbon sink saturation seems imminent in European forests, as these trees are reaching a dynamic equilibrium with the current management intensity, tree species and age-class distribution. A review of forest policies and management strategies is needed if we want to sustain the sink.

 

The authors recommend considering tailored climate mitigation strategies to maximize forest biomass carbon sequestration and the effects of energy and material substitutions, while taking other climate forcings (e.g. biophysical effects) into account. They also suggest several carbon sequestration options that could be used in revised management schedules and advise that trade-offs with other forest goods and services be carefully considered. A change in mindset on integrated land-use management may be needed in order to achieve an overall balance of functions both within and outside forests through effective carbon mitigation. The authors call for policies affecting forest and forest management to be better coordinated at all levels in the EU in order to fully exploit the carbon mitigation function of forests.

 

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