Forest conservation could make huge contribution in countering climate change: study

December 11, 2015 — As world leaders finalize agreements and commitments at the November 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference, an initial report (see pdf) produced by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), World Wide Fund (WWF) and Climate Advisers and released today highlights the significant potential of targeted forest conservation and restoration in curbing the effects of climate change. Against the backdrop of existing national commitments and international forest targets, the report assesses opportunities in twelve forest countries and finds that if these countries meet their existing forest goals, an average of 1.56 million hectares/year will be spared from deforestation and 5.12 million hectares/year will be restored, resulting in 1.85 gigatonnes of CO2/year in avoided emissions through 2011-2020. But with additional support there is the potential for an another 3.92 million hectares/year (2 gigatonnes CO2/year) in avoided emissions.

The report highlights opportunities for partnerships between international supporters and forest nations, identifying an opportunity gap for both the support needed to achieve existing targets and increasing aspirations to reduce deforestation that is not addressed by country targets.

For a visual summary the report see the Forest Opportunity Infographic (pdf) .

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