BOGOR, Indonesia, Dec. 1 (UPI) — An Indonesian forestry research group says large areas of Earth’s forests could succumb to climate change, resulting in disaster for forest-dependent people.
The Center for International Forestry Research says unless immediate action is taken, climate change could have a devastating effect on the nearly 1 billion people who depend on forests for their livelihoods.
The CIFOR is urging the buffering of ecosystems against climate-related disturbances and selecting species in plantations better suited to predicted climate changes.
“The imperative to assist forests and forest communities to adapt to climate change has been poorly addressed in national policies and international negotiations,” said Frances Seymour, director general of the CIFOR. “The adaptation challenge is being treated as secondary to mitigation, and yet the two are inextricably linked.”
Seymour noted forests provide millions of people with income, food, medicines and building materials, as well as delivering many vital ecosystem services such as flood or drought regulation and water purification. They are, therefore, critical to the ability of human societies to adapt to climate change.
The report is to be released Friday in Poznan, Poland, during a meeting of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.