1) Research/Publication on Climate Change and Forestry
2)Climate Change News
3) Climate Change Info & Events
4) AREAS OF RESEARCH
5) Websites of interest


No. 2/2001

23 February 2001

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1) Research/Publication on Climate Change and Forestry

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1. "Harnessing carbon markets for tropical forest conservation: towards a more realistic assessment" by J. Smith, K. Mulongoy, R. Persson and J. Sayer, Environmental Conservation 27 (3): 300-311.

While the issues related to forests continue to be among the main obstaclesin progressing the climate change negotiations, diverse opinions exist as tothe magnitude of possible contribution of forests, especially of tropicalforests, to climate change mitigation. Diversity of opinions about the magnitude of possible contribution offorests, especially of tropical forests, to climate change mitigation is one of the factors that impede the progress of the climate change negotiations.

Earlier estimates put quite high figures, in the range of 200 to 500 millionha of land available for forest plantations, thus for carbon sequestration,fuelling the hopes for considerable transfer of funds to the forestry sectorin the tropics through CDM. This paper calls for caution and more realisticassessment of what can be expected from CDM for tropical forests.After analyzing different aspects including cost-effectiveness, duration offorestry projects, political realities and investor priorities, the authorsconclude that initial estimates of the contribution tropical forestry couldmake to both climatic change mitigation and to forest conservation need tobe scaled down. Tropical forests are likely to be an intermediate climatechange mitigation strategy for buying time, until more permanent optionsbecome available. An analysis of the implications of CDM for forests revealsthe importance of involving forest stakeholders more closely in the CDMdebate. According to the paper, CDM should be seen as one more tool forenhancing the effectiveness of more conventional ways of promoting forestconservation and sustainable use.The paper draws on recent literature and the results of a policy dialoguewith CDM stakeholders, which was organized by the International Academy ofthe Environment (IAE) and the Center for International Forestry Research(CIFOR) that took place in Geneva in 1998. For more information, contact Joyotee Smith, E.SMITH@CGIAR.ORG

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2. 'What role should forest management play in the global climate changeregime?' by Zoe Harkin, Gary Bull, Anne Wonghttp://www.policy.ca/archive/20010108.php3 This paper gives a concise analysis of the positions of Canada and EU onforestry in the Kyoto Protocol and of the negotiation process at COP6. Italso comments on the perspectives of NGOs and industries on the issue. Onthe web page, you can also find useful links to websites related to forestry and climate change.

For more information, contact Zoe Harkin zharkin@netscape.net, Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia, in association with The University of Melbourne.

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2)Climate Change News

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-World Disasters Seen As Global Warming OutcomeGENEVA (Reuters) - Massive flooding, disease and drought could hit rich andpoor countries around the world over coming decades if global warming is nothalted, an authoritative U.N. scientific team warned Monday.

The scientists said they foresaw glaciers and polar icecaps melting,countless species of animals, birds and plant life dying out, farmlandturning to desert, fish-supporting coral reefs destroyed, and small island states sunk beneath the sea.

The disaster scenario, with its major impact on the global economy, was setout in a 1,000-page report by the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on ClimateChange (IPCC), which links nearly 3,000 experts in dozens of countries andhas been studying the warming problem since 1990.http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/science/science-environment-r.html?pagewanted=all&pagewa

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3) Climate Change Info & Events

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- IPCC'S THIRD ASSESSMENT REPORT (Working Group II)

"Climate Change 2001: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability" Summary for policymakers can be downloaded from: http://www.ipcc.ch/

- INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CLEAN CLIMATE INITIATIVES AND RENEWABLE ENERGY MARKETS BY TERI

TERI is organising an international conference on clean climate initiativesand renewable energy markets on 28th February and 1st march 2001, along witha clean energy exhibition at New Delhi, India. The brochure of theconference (in the pdf format), can be accessed/downloaded athttp://www.teriin.org/events/docs/ren.htm   .

- GTOS/Global Terrestrial Carbon Observation initiativeThe Global Terrestrial Carbon Observation initiative (TCO) is a coordinatedinternational response to the need in the policy and scientific communitiesfor improved knowledge about carbon sources and sinks.

In 1998 the Integrated Global Observing Strategy Partnership (IGOS-P) wasestablished to bridge the gap and develop synergy between global changeprogrammes being implemented by space agencies and those taking placeprimarily using in situ data. The partners include the global observingsystems, international research organizations, UN organizations such as FAO,UNEP, WMO and national space agencies (complete list at:http://www.unep.ch/earthw/igosprts.htm ).

In June, 1999 IGOS decided to develop a theme on the terrestrial carboncycle. The Global Terrestrial Observing System (GTOS) was asked to lead itsdevelopment in collaboration with partners such as IGBP, GCOS, WCRP and others.

To date three meetings have been organized to reach consensus in thescientific community on the core variables needing to be measured, theidentification of important gaps, assessment of measurements already beingmade, evaluation of data quality and the identification of key gaps. Asynthesis report ( http://www.fao.org/gtos/gtospub/pub25.htm ) contains this information. Steps are now underway to develop an operational system.

Under the leadership of the IGBP, GTOS, GOOS the IGOS partners are nowpursuing a broader global carbon theme in which the terrestrial, ocean, atmospheric, and coastal components will be fully integrated.

However, for the medium-term the following goals are identified for TCO: By 2004, demonstrate the capability to map the global spatial distributionof the sources and sinks of the terrestrial biospheric carbon with a TBD (tobe determined) accuracy for areas as small as TBD (e.g., ± 30% over areas~4km2), and generate the appropriate global and regional map products.Starting in 2008, produce an annual digital database of the terrestrialcarbon sources and sinks on an ongoing basis, with the above or better accuracy.

The scope of TCO is characterized by emphasis on the current spatialdistribution of the sources and sinks in terrestrial and aquatic componentsof the biosphere; long-term, global observation; and products for seasonal,annual, interannual, and decadal periods. It encompasses the terrestrial andassociated atmospheric parts of the carbon cycle and will also be linked to activities related to ocean carbon observations.

The thematic areas in which data and information are required for estimating terrestrial carbon sinks and fluxes include:

· Land cover · Land use (current and historical) · Biomass (above and below ground) · Seasonal growth cycles (leaf area, duration, timing) · Fires (timing, extent, intensity) · Solar radiation · Ecosystem productivity (Npp, Nep, Nbp)

It is not feasible for any single nation to obtain such large-scaleinformation reliably and cost-effectively because of the complexity of theenvironmental processes involved and the need to obtain a range ofmeasurements (both in area and in time). A combined effort that bringstogether organizations with space and ground-based observing capabilities,users, and the scientific community makes the problem manageable and offersa higher probability of success. Further information on TCO can be obtainedfrom the links shown below. The link to the latest TCO report (October 2000) is:http://www.fao.org/gtos/doc/pub25.pdf The link to the Ottawa synthesis report (February 2000) is:http://www.fao.org/gtos/gtospub/pub23.htm

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4) AREAS OF RESEARCH

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- Cyclical change in the number of mites connected with climatic changes? Valery G. Shevchenko, biologist, Saint Petersburg University, Head ofResearch Group of Plant Acarology in Biological Research, has been dealingwith plant-feeding mites. He write:"Main subjects of my investigation are situated in European part of Russia(North- West). I study there mites - pests of our common plants. I organizethere long-term observations on the dynamic of mites quantity during 20years. Besides it I have been working near to 40 field seasons in the MiddleAsia (Kirghizstan, particularly). I sampling there data on Junipers inmountains (or "artcha"), the data on the fluctuation of Juniper seeds harvests in different years and number of mites-pests and healthy seeds.

This work I continue since 1961 and have been studying 3 species ofJunipers. I have seen that seed's number fluctuation also had cycliccharacter and connected, apparently, with the sun activity. It isexclusively interesting for me and I hope for your CLM-FO-L too.The third question is - the question about existence (number hectares,quality) of the mountain Juniper forests of the World. I have some dataabout these forests of former USSR republics and some more countries."For more information, contact Valery G. Shevchenko at vs@VS3969.spb.edu

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5) Websites of interest

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- The CLIMATE PAGE of the recently launched UNEP.Net Environment Network.

http://www.unep.net/Climate/

- FORESTS IN FLUX http://www.unep-wcmc.org/forest/flux/homepage.htm

The forests in flux website provides a brief overview of this project, whichaims to identify priority areas for conservation of forest ecosystems threatened by climate change.

The site also includes searchable databases which provide reviewed referencematerial and additional citations on current issues and knowledge relating to forests and climate change.

- The Queensland Emissions Trading Forum http://www.qetf.org/

The Queensland Emissions Trading Forum is a non profit organisation that wasfounded in April 2000 to develop an internet-based emissions tradingsimulation that would provide participants with a practical insight into the operation of alternative greenhouse gas emissions trading regimes.

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Thank you for your inputs for this issue: Zoe Harkin, Gary Bull, Valery G. Shevchenko, Jeff Tschirley.

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The objective of CLIM-FO-L is to be a forum for sharing current informationand experiences about climate change and forestry amongst experts andnon-experts. CLIM-FO-L will send periodically to subscribers synopsis ofcontributions, indicating how to obtain more detailed information on thetopic. CLIM-FO-L is a service provided by the FAO Forest Products Division (FOP).

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