Emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.
From carbon sequestration point of view, the forest plays a crucial role in acting as carbon sinks. Through photosynthesis, trees absorb carbon. In a well-managed forest, old trees are encouraged to be left in the forest untouched. These trees eventually die, and as they decompose most of their stored carbon is released to the air (apart from a little that remains in leaf-litter and topsoil) – making an almost neutral impact on atmospheric carbon over their life.
In addition to this, diversifying and including Lesser Known Timber Species(LKTS) in forest management plans followed by replanting harvested species, makes sure one specie is not over exploited but there is a general balance in the number of trees that is taken out of the forest, by so doing there is a lesser impact on the amount of carbon that is release from forest management activities. The continuous focus on traditional commercial species mean that at some point there is an imbalance in the general health of the forest ecosystem. Biodiversity is increasing with less threatened species and the value of the forest is improved. Given the environmental concerns nowadays, a forest with improved value stand little chance of being converted into other land use systems with fewer environmental values. Such a forest will also be crucial to meeting wood demand in the long term.
Sourcing LKTS especially from well managed forest sustains ecological, carbon, nutrient and water cycles in forests and reduces the susceptibility of tree species to diseases and fire. In order to achieve the environmental objectives promoted by certification, forest managers will need to reduce the volume of wood extracted from the forest each harvesting cycle if only high market value species are utilized, which in turn could reduce revenues in the short term. But using LKTS can help managers to reach a certain threshold of wood extraction per acre that makes responsible forest management economically viable.
Togetherness, justice and openness in optimal forest management.
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Last updated: March, 2020