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"Come out of the forest" to save the trees
Global forestry experts call for broadened approach to tackle climate change and deforestation on sidelines of U.N. climate talks
2 December 2012 - 3 December 2012


DOHA, QATAR (2 December 2012)_Forestry experts have called for a new approach to managing land and tackling climate change – challenging the ongoing debate that forests have to be sacrificed for the sake of rural development and food security.

Governments, policymakers and scientists worldwide have been experimenting for years with different approaches to managing rural landscapes, from watershed management to habitat restoration, but these efforts are rarely done in concert to address climate change challenges.

"It is time to look at new ways of solving old problems," said Peter Holmgren, Director General of the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in a keynote speech at Forest Day 6, a daylong event held on the sidelines of the United Nations climate talks in Doha.

"Climate change needs to be dealt with across sector boundaries. Forests and forestry must be looked at through the lenses of agriculture, food security and broader sustainable development. It is time for forestry to come out of the forest and contribute more broadly."

Andreas Tveteraas, Senior Adviser to Norway's International Climate and Forest Initiative, supported this view: "The challenge is to do both forest conservation and increased food production [and not at] the expense of forests. No doubt if a government has to choose between them, then the forests will always lose, so the challenge is to promote forest management in a way that goes hand in hand with feeding the population."

A landscape-based approach, which looks at the synergies and trade-offs of managing a broad resource mix, has been hailed as a new way to bring together the agricultural, forestry, energy and fishery sectors to better manage the world’s resources while offering opportunities for climate adaptation and mitigation.

"The window to stay in a two-degree world is closing very rapidly," said Mary Barton-Dock, Director of Climate Policy and Finance at the World Bank.

And in the context of a changing climate, she added, "A landscape approach is going to be essential to meet the growing need for food without invading forests."


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