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Implications of the Paris Climate Change Agreement (CoP21) on Forests, Water and Soils

Harper, R.ORCID: 0000-0003-0268-2917 (2016) Implications of the Paris Climate Change Agreement (CoP21) on Forests, Water and Soils. In: International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) Regional Congress 2016, 24 - 28 October 2016, Beijing, China.


The Paris Agreement established the ambitious goal to limit the global rise in temperature to below 2° C. This session took a look at the impact climate change as well as mitigation measures potentially have on forests, soil conservation and carbon mitigation.

Climate change can have an array of effects on forest ecosystems including poleward shifting of potential vegetation, increase in biomass production, drought and soil erosion. With forestry being the only land-use system with a natural potential in carbon dioxide capture and sequestration (CCS), it has the potential to play an important role in reaching the CoP21 goals. As land is the critical resource in any mitigation strategy the pressure on forestry and the competition with other forms of land-use is high.

While the global loss of forest area has slowed down, the capacity for carbon storage of forests lost and gained vary. Short-termed, planted forests cannot make up for the primary forest lost due to land-use changes. Nevertheless forest restoration and planting is important, but forests need to be adapted to climate as well as social changes in the long-run.

With this in mind the IUFRO Task Force of Forests, Soil and Water interactions will soon launch an online survey directed at practitioners to learn about their experience with adaptive forest management (AFM).

Item Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
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