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Forests - a vital carbon sink

Whereas deforestation, degradation and poor forest management reduce carbon storage in forests, sustainable management, planting, and rehabilitation of forests can increase carbon sequestration. It is estimated that the world¿s forests store 283 Gigatonnes (Gt) of carbon in their biomass alone, and that the carbon stored in forest biomass, deadwood, litter and soil together is roughly 50 percent more than the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. Carbon in forest biomass decreased in Africa, Asia and South America in the period 1990-2005, but increased in all other regions. For the world as a whole, carbon stocks in forest biomass decreased by 1.1 Gt of carbon annually, owing to continued deforestation and forest degradation partly offset by forest expansion (including planting) and an increase in growing stock per hectare in some regions.

last updated:  Monday, November 27, 2006