Why logging will not save the climate

Publication - June 25, 2010
How the order of three letters can make the difference between saving a forest - or not. Greenpeace briefing on the impact on the climate - and the forests - of so-called "Sustainable Forests Management" (SFM).

Consideration of options for the inclusion of Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) often gives reference to the potential of 'sustainable management of forests' as an avenue for achieving emissions reductions. The forest industry and some governments with vested interests in the logging sector, as well as several international organisations, are pushing a narrow interpretation and reframing of this under so-called 'Sustainable Forest Management' (SFM).

Primary (ancient or old growth) intact forests are the most resilient to climate change, contain the biggest carbon stock and have the highest biodiversity value of all forests. The amount of carbon taken up by all primary tropical forests (located in Asia, Africa and America) is thought to approximately balance the carbon emitted by deforestation – which in itself is more than the entire transport sector. The conservation of existing forests and especially intact forest landscapes (IFLs), which are largely unaffected by logging, is essential to prevent future greenhouse emissions from deforestation, as well as for conserving biodiversity.

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