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David Ellison et al.

Forest-driven water and energy cycles are poorly integrated into regional, national, continental and global decision-making on climate change adaptation, mitigation, land use and water management. This constrains humanity’s ability to protect our planet’s climate and life-sustaining functions. The substantial body of research we review reveals that forest, water and energy interactions provide the foundations for carbon storage, for cooling terrestrial surfaces and for distributing water resources. Forests and trees must be recognized as prime regulators within the water, energy and carbon cycles. If these functions are ignored, planners will be unable to assess, adapt to or mitigate the impacts of changing land cover and climate. Our call to action targets a reversal of paradigms, from a carbon-centric model to one that treats the hydrologic and climate-cooling effects of trees and forests as the first order of priority. For reasons of sustainability, carbon storage must remain a secondary, though valuable, by-product. The effects of tree cover on climate at local, regional and continental scales offer benefits that demand wider recognition. The forest- and tree-centered research insights we review and analyze provide a knowledge-base for improving plans, policies and actions. Our understanding of how trees and forests influence water, energy and carbon cycles has important implications, both for the structure of planning, management and governance institutions, as well as for how trees and forests might be used to improve sustainability, adaptation and mitigation efforts.

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Source: Science Direct

Knowledge Resources

2deg


"Adapting and living below 2oC: bridging gaps in policies and practices” call for harnessing more local involvement in integrated adaptation planning, providing access to relevant sources of financing and technologies, provisioning coherent capacity building, involving private sector, and tapping knowledge networks including the Asia Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN) for replicable adaptation measures and collective learning to support effective and inclusive adaptation planning and implementation. Over 900 participants including policymakers, scientists, donors, youth, and representatives from over 50 countries discussed opportunities and agreed to collaborate on solutions, integrated approaches, and extended an invitation to new partners especially the private, technology and finance sectors, that could help address the gaps in financing, technology, and capacity building. Inspired by the sincere commitment of the host government to inform Sri Lanka’s future climate actions with the Forum outcomes, many countries, partners and participants expressed their commitment to take on the messages from the 5th Forum and turn them into action, for a climate-resilient Asia Pacific region."

 

Colombo, Sri Lanka
October 2016

 

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Knowledge Resources

Climate change is one of the defining issues of our time. Over 30 UNESCO programmes in the sciences, education, culture and communication contribute to creating knowledge, educating and communicating about climate change, and to understanding the ethical implications for present and future generations.

Read more: Addressing Climate Change

Knowledge Resources

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