Deforestation: towards a more sustainable future?

Recent DeforestationBy Clare Boston

Energy and Climate Minister Ed Miliband is set to play a key role in reaching an agreement to reduce deforestation rates during climate change discussions in Copenhagen later this year.  Mr Milliband told BBC News that deforestation may be accountable for around one fifth of carbon emissions worldwide.  In a recent visit to Brazil this August, he met with farmers, indigenous communities and NGOs to discuss both the current problems faced through deforestation and plans for existing and future sustainable land management.

A recent paper by John Kuper and Scott Franklin in Geography Compass discusses the consequences of deforestation and forest fragmentation for species diversity.  These authors propose that an interdisciplinary approach is required to both sustain and reinstate species diversity within fragmented forests.  Whilst the main aim of the Copenhagen deal will be to reduce carbon emissions caused by deforestation, the plans set in place to achieve this will undoubtedly have a positive knock-on effect on species diversity within the forests.  These international efforts offer an example of an interdisciplinary approach in practice, from the global scale climate change discussions in Copenhagen required to implement such changes in land use, to the importance of indigenous knowledge and land management at a community level.

60% world Read the BBC news story

60% world Read Kupfer and Franklin (2009). Linking Spatial Pattern and Ecological Responses in Human-Modified Landscapes: The Effects of Deforestation and Forest Fragmentation on Biodiversity. Geography Compass.

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