Lambir Hills National Park: “The near empty forest that proves conservation is failing”
Mike Shanahan (Under the Banyan) reports on the rapid decline of seed dispersing and other animals in the world’s most botanically diverse forest. (And no, it doesn’t have anything to do with that bug-bear of northern-hemisphere conservationists, overpopulation, as he details in a comment.)
The once and future forest of Sebangau National Park
Mike at Under the Banyan Tree reports on the seemingly daunting but ultimately encouraging struggle to recover a forest devastated by loggin in Borneo.
The national park managers showed us before and after photographs that revealed how they were slowly turning a wasteland into something that once more resembled a forest. Since 2005, they have planted more than a million trees on 5,000 hectares of the burnt and deforested land. In 2012, they aim to plant trees on another 2,000 hectares.
This is just a start. Because forests like that at Sebangau store vast quantities of carbon below ground in their buried peat and above ground in their trees, they can play an important role in limiting climate change.
It means that efforts to reforest Sebangau could be among the first projects in line for funding under an international scheme called REDD+ that will allow polluting companies and countries to offset their carbon emissions by paying to plant trees and protect forests.
Read the rest of the post to learn how this could help save one of our closest animal cousins from extinction.
When is a forest not a forest?
In a recent post at Under the Banyan, Mike rails at the FAO’s definition of “forest” and the poor policy decisions that can lead to:
Scientists have tried to explain how important real forests are for limiting climate change, tackling poverty and creating green economies based on timber and other forest products.
But the fate of forests gets decided in concrete capitals where policymakers pour over green-tinged maps and financial spreadsheets that only show some of the costs and benefits of changing a real forest into anything else.
Right now, somewhere in the world, one of these policymakers is reading a technical document about forests — they are reading small black print on a dull pale page and they are probably wishing the document or the day was shorter.
It makes me wonder how many of the bureaucrats who will decide the fate of the world’s tropical forests have actually walked in one. And how the protectors of the forests can encourage more policymakers to take that journey.