FAO publications on forests and climate change

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Climate change guidelines for forest managers

FAO Forestry Paper 172, 2013

The effects of climate change and climate variability on forest ecosystems are evident around the world and further impacts are unavoidable, at least in the short to medium term. Addressing the challenges posed by climate change will require adjustments to forest policies, management plans and practices. These guidelines have been prepared to assist forest managers to better assess and respond to climate change challenges and opportunities at the forest management unit level. The actions they propose are relevant to all kinds of forest managers – such as individual forest owners, private forest enterprises, public-sector agencies, indigenous groups and community forest organizations. They are applicable in all forest types and regions and for all management objectives.


    Climate Change for Forest Policy-Makers

    - An approach for integrating climate change in forest programmes in support of sustainable forest managment (2011)

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The publication is a key part of FAO’s support to countries in the process of integrating climate change into national forest programmes. It presents a practical approach for the process that countries can adjust to fit the national circumstances. The aim is to assist senior officials in government administrations and key stakeholders, including civil society organizations and the private sector, prepare the forest sector for the challenges and opportunities posed by climate change.


    What woodfuels can do to mitigate climate change 

    FAO Forestry Paper 162 (2010, E, 98 pp)

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The publication explores the scope and potential for woodfuels to replace fossil fuels thereby contributing to climate change mitigation. The global and regional potential for and implications of woodfuel development for climate change mitigation and the current woodfuel offset mechanisms in place and their relative emissions reduction potentials is analysed. The publication identifies a number of barriers that preclude the full use of this mitigation potential. Policy reforms to encourage environmental sustainability, increased productivity, improved infrastructure and planning are essential for large-scale implementation.

    Criteria and indicators for sustainable woodfuels 

    FAO Forestry Paper 160 (2010, E, 103 pp)

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This publication assesses the environmental, social and economic issues as well as the legal and institutional frameworks that can ensure the sustainable production of woodfuels from forests, trees outside forests and other sources. The study continues FAO’s long interest in wood energy issues and complements the many other FAO reports on wood energy and sustainable forest management.

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Climate change and the forest sector - Possible national and subnational legislation

FAO Forestry Paper 144 (2004), E, 73 pp

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Climate change presents the world with a daunting problem. Emerging science suggests that humans may be about to cause a major change in world climates. The economic and ecological stakes are high. In an ideal world, mature science would guide policy and legal reform. In the real world, it is not always possible to have the luxury of certainty and the comfort of strictly rational decisions based on scientific insight. Responding to the challenge will require pioneering efforts in science, politics, pollution control, forest management and law. This publication examines the development of international law of climate change and discusses issues that national and subnational legislative bodies may have to consider regarding climate change mitigation and forests.

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Climate change, forests and forest management

FAO Forestry Paper 126 (1995), E, S, F, 128 pp

A review of the present state of knowledge of global climate change, as it applies to forests and forest management, is presented in question and answer format. This paper addresses the dynamic nature of the Earth's climate, the greenhouse effect, predicted effects of climate change, the global carbon cycle, trees and forests as sources and sinks of carbon, possible effects of climate change on forests, helping forests adapt to climate change and how forests can mitigate predicted effects of climate change. English version available in hard copy only.
last updated:  Thursday, September 26, 2013