ITTO wants investment in forest restoration to help cut carbon losses

An aerial view of a section of the Amazon rainforest (Photo credit – Beautiful World Travel Guide)

Concerns that tropical forest degradation is responsible for even more carbon losses than deforestation has prompted the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) to issue a call for investment in restoration through landscape approaches linked to supply chains, an undertaking which it says is critical to limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees centigrade. The lobby emerged from a forum staged by the ITTO and the Japan Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute during the global climate conference held earlier this month. 

What was described as a ‘side event’ to the conference and titled “Restoring Degraded Tropical Forests: Reconciling Carbon, Biodiversity and Community Resilience”, was held on  December  14  in Katowice, Poland during the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The ITTO reports that the ‘side event’ explored the links between  forest landscape restoration, sustainable supply chains, community resilience, biodiversity conservation and climate-change mitigation.

Discourse at the forum centred around a recent study which indicates that tropical forests are net carbon emitters due to degradation, which accounts for an estimated 69% of carbon density losses in tropical forests. “Under business-as-usual scenarios, the projected continued increase in the global population will result in further deforestation and forest degradation and increase the use of non-environmentally friendly materials, which would make it almost impossible to achieve the climate target under the Paris Agreement,” the ITTO says. Conversely, the ITTO believes that significant  investments in forest landscape restoration linked to sustainable supply chains for timber and other forest products offers a viable, relatively inexpensive solution…..

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