• Home
  • The importance of species selection and seed sourcing in forest restoration for enhancing adaptive potential to climate change: Colombian tropical dry forest as a model

The importance of species selection and seed sourcing in forest restoration for enhancing adaptive potential to climate change: Colombian tropical dry forest as a model

Posted by

FTA COMMUNICATIONS TEAM

• Forest restoration projects can derive great benefit from integrating climate modeling, functional trait analysis and genetic considerations in the selection of appropriate tree species and sources of forest reproductive material, for their critical importance for the delivery of ecosystem services and the viability and adaptive capacity of restored forests;
• Targets in restoration projects are not only quantitative but also qualitative. There is need for political commitment to create demand for good quality forest reproductive material of native species through regulatory frameworks and resource allocations;
• User friendly knowledge-based decision making tools need to be developed and mainstreamed to assist emerging restoration practitioners with the choice of tree species and sources of forest reproductive material;
• Countries need to increase experimental field setups such as provenance and progeny trials for native species to validate decision tools and apply adaptive management under climate change.

  • Home
  • Eighteen institutions sign up to Tropical managed Forests Observatory

Eighteen institutions sign up to Tropical managed Forests Observatory

It is estimated that only a quarter of tropical forests are pristine. Photo by TmFO
Posted by

FTA COMMUNICATIONS TEAM

The DR Congo has the second largest tropical forest area in the world. Photo by Ollivier Girard/CIFOR

The Tropical managed Forests Observatory (TmFO) was recently formalized by a collaboration agreement signed by 18 institutions, including Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD).

The confirmation of this unique network will enable it to continue monitoring the world’s logged tropical forests and drafting recommendations for sustainable silviculture. This is a crucial challenge in the light of biodiversity erosion and climate change.

Some 75 percent of the world’s tropical forests have been disrupted by human activity. It is vital to understand the ecology and resilience of these managed ecosystems in order to determine their future role in mitigating global warming and conserving biodiversity in the territories concerned. The TmFO network is the only organization working on logged tropical forests, as the other existing structures (Rainfor and CTFS) are limited to so-called primary forest.

“The network, which is now official, will benefit from greater visibility,” said the CIRAD researcher coordinating the network, Plinio Sist, also of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA). “What we have to do now is to sustain it by developing projects.”

Read more: Tropical Production Forests Observatory

Fine-tuning recommendations concerning sustainable silviculture 

TmFO has existed informally since 2012. At the time, CIRAD decided to use funding from FTA to federate several experimental sites on three continents (in Amazonia, the Congo Basin and Southeast Asia). Those sites are monitoring forest dynamics after logging and silviculture. Some have existed for more than 30 years, such as Paracou (French Guiana), Mbaiki (Central African Republic) and Tapajos in the Brazilian Amazon.

It is estimated that only a quarter of tropical forests are pristine. Photo by TmFO

“The aim is to have a regional and pantropical picture of the resilience of these forests,” Sist explained. In effect, “the forests of the northeastern Amazon do not react to logging in the same way as others in the South of the forest basin. The observatory’s data are placed within a regional context, and are thus more useful for adapting sustainable silviculture recommendations.”

Exceptional opportunity to study forest resilience  

The TmFO network has already enabled a degree of progress. For instance, it has demonstrated that Amazon forests recover their carbon stock in 20 years. This result shows that sustainably logged forests play a fundamental role in C02 capture, hence in mitigating climate change.

Read more: Diversity, commitment, challenges and shared goals: How CIRAD looks at FTA

The general agreement specifies four main structures: a steering committee, in which each of the 18 member institutions will be represented by a member, and three regional technical committees, for Amazonia, the Congo Basin and Southeast Asia. CIRAD is coordinator for the next two years.

The TmFO network in figures:

  • 22 experimental sites encompassing 517 forest plots covering a total of 1134 ha
  • 18 forestry research institutions are monitoring those sites, all of which have signed the agreement
  • 9 countries are home to those sites: Bolivia, Brazil, Guyana, France (French Guiana), Surinam, Central African Republic, Gabon, Malaysia and Indonesia
  • 40 researchers are involved in the network.

Originally published on CIRAD.fr.


This work forms part of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA), which is supported by CGIAR Fund Donors

  • Home
  • Eighteen institutions sign up to Tropical managed Forests Observatory

Eighteen institutions sign up to Tropical managed Forests Observatory

It is estimated that only a quarter of tropical forests are pristine. Photo by TmFO
Posted by

FTA COMMUNICATIONS TEAM

The DR Congo has the second largest tropical forest area in the world. Photo by Ollivier Girard/CIFOR

The Tropical managed Forests Observatory (TmFO) was recently formalized by a collaboration agreement signed by 18 institutions, including Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD).

The confirmation of this unique network will enable it to continue monitoring the world’s logged tropical forests and drafting recommendations for sustainable silviculture. This is a crucial challenge in the light of biodiversity erosion and climate change.

Some 75 percent of the world’s tropical forests have been disrupted by human activity. It is vital to understand the ecology and resilience of these managed ecosystems in order to determine their future role in mitigating global warming and conserving biodiversity in the territories concerned. The TmFO network is the only organization working on logged tropical forests, as the other existing structures (Rainfor and CTFS) are limited to so-called primary forest.

“The network, which is now official, will benefit from greater visibility,” said the CIRAD researcher coordinating the network, Plinio Sist, also of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA). “What we have to do now is to sustain it by developing projects.”

Read more: Tropical Production Forests Observatory

Fine-tuning recommendations concerning sustainable silviculture 

TmFO has existed informally since 2012. At the time, CIRAD decided to use funding from FTA to federate several experimental sites on three continents (in Amazonia, the Congo Basin and Southeast Asia). Those sites are monitoring forest dynamics after logging and silviculture. Some have existed for more than 30 years, such as Paracou (French Guiana), Mbaiki (Central African Republic) and Tapajos in the Brazilian Amazon.

It is estimated that only a quarter of tropical forests are pristine. Photo by TmFO

“The aim is to have a regional and pantropical picture of the resilience of these forests,” Sist explained. In effect, “the forests of the northeastern Amazon do not react to logging in the same way as others in the South of the forest basin. The observatory’s data are placed within a regional context, and are thus more useful for adapting sustainable silviculture recommendations.”

Exceptional opportunity to study forest resilience  

The TmFO network has already enabled a degree of progress. For instance, it has demonstrated that Amazon forests recover their carbon stock in 20 years. This result shows that sustainably logged forests play a fundamental role in C02 capture, hence in mitigating climate change.

Read more: Diversity, commitment, challenges and shared goals: How CIRAD looks at FTA

The general agreement specifies four main structures: a steering committee, in which each of the 18 member institutions will be represented by a member, and three regional technical committees, for Amazonia, the Congo Basin and Southeast Asia. CIRAD is coordinator for the next two years.

The TmFO network in figures:

  • 22 experimental sites encompassing 517 forest plots covering a total of 1134 ha
  • 18 forestry research institutions are monitoring those sites, all of which have signed the agreement
  • 9 countries are home to those sites: Bolivia, Brazil, Guyana, France (French Guiana), Surinam, Central African Republic, Gabon, Malaysia and Indonesia
  • 40 researchers are involved in the network.

Originally published on CIRAD.fr.


This work forms part of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA), which is supported by CGIAR Fund Donors

  • Home
  • The challenges of conserving tropical forests

The challenges of conserving tropical forests

Posted by

FTA communications

Photo: Lucy McHugh/CIFOR
A view of the Kapuas Hulu river hints at the complex reality of tropical forest landscapes. Photo: Lucy McHugh/CIFOR

By Tara Lohan, originally published at CIFOR’s Forests News

Too often, the debate about forests in policy circles is reduced to two options: deforestation or total protection, according to Francis E. Putz.

Putz and Claudia Romero, both researchers at the University of Florida, chose to take a different approach.

“We looked at a large area of forests that falls outside these two existing options,” said Putz. “We are trying to inform decisions about forests that aren’t in protected areas.”

In a recently published study by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) under the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry, Putz and Romero examined the different forest management and conservation options that exist today for the world’s tropical forests.

It is a subject that can be contentious.

“It’s a hard story to tell because we are not promoting logging,” said Putz. “We are saying that there are acceptable and unacceptable forest management methods and if you want to achieve the latter, there are several issues that need to be considered.”

Practical thinking

Many researchers, said Putz, document the impacts on tropical forestry and conclude that there is no other option for forest protection besides converting them into parks.

“I’d like to convert the remaining forests in the tropics into one protected area for future generations to enjoy, but that’s unfortunately not going to happen,“ said Putz.

“That’s why we are trying to find a solution for land that falls between complete protection and conversion. It’s still going to be forest, but it’s going to be managed forest, not primary forest.”

Putz contends that protection is not a viable option in many areas, especially those close to roads and well-settled areas.

“All land is not equivalent in its productive capacity or in its ecological importance, so we need to plan at landscape scales,” said Putz.

Impacts are of course to be expected when forests are managed, but the sorts and extents of those impacts vary with whether the area is being managed responsibly or not.

“But where alternative land uses such as oil palm plantations are very lucrative, we need to do everything we can to make natural forest management financially attractive and sustainable in terms of yield and biodiversity. If we don’t, the opportunity costs of maintaining forests will simply be too high.”

So what constitutes good forest management?

“Most people will agree that there are forest management practices that clearly minimize  downstream damage, avoid biodiversity losses, and keep workers safe. But after instituting those basic improvements, what constitutes responsible forest management varies with factors that range in scales from individual trees to entire landscapes,“ said Putz.

“There are some principles of good forestry that span the gamut from high-intensity plantations to the lightest selective harvests, but after that, the details differ.”

Contestations

Adding to the complexity of the issues related to tropical forestry are the different stakeholder groups involved.

“We need to understand that tropical forests are located in contested territories where claims by indigenous communities overlap with those of mining companies and other industries,” said Romero. “Governments need to juggle all these competing claims regarding tropical forests.”

“We found that there are a lot of opportunities to manage forests for timber and other products that need to be considered to help manage competing needs of different stakeholders.”

“Forest managers make decisions based on criteria that include market pressures and global demand. Policy makers need to be more sensitive to those signals in order to tailor appropriate policies for responsible forest management,” Romero added.

“Good forest management is possible at all scales, from large industrial concessions to small community-owned forests. But one of the keys to success is awareness and capacity building,” said Putz. “The certification program of the Forest Stewardship Council, for example, has substantially raised awareness about responsible forest management.

“What we don’t yet know is just how much of a difference certification is making, which is our next project,” said Putz. “We’ve been trying for years to get unbiased field-data on the impacts of certification.”

Romero said the essence of their current work is to increase the visibility of good forest management in the tropics.

“The core of resource management is adaptive management and the core principle of adaptive management is experimentation,” she added. “We won’t know if certain things work until we try them and have a robust means of learning about their impacts.”


Back to top

Sign up to our monthly newsletter

Connect with us