Taking stock of jurisdictional approaches to sustainable forest management

Taking a jurisdictional approach to sustainable forest and landscape management in the tropics is increasingly seen as one of the most effective methods to conserve productive ecosystems and support livelihoods, according to researchers. Complementary to integrated landscape management efforts, jurisdictional approaches pull together levels of government from national to local, which serves to enhance and […]

Pact aims to curtail planet-warming emissions from carbon-rich peatlands

A recent meeting of international environment officials and government leaders from four key tropical countries formalized a joint commitment to prioritize sustainable management of peatlands. At the virtual event – hosted by Peru’s environment ministry, the U.N. Environment Programme, the Global Peatlands Initiative (GPI) and the International Tropical Peatlands Center (ITPC) – Indonesia, Democratic Republic […]

Craft policies that jointly address biodiversity and climate crises, report says

Think before you plant. Randomly planting trees in ecosystems that have never been forests and reforesting with monoculture species can contribute to climate change mitigation, but often harms biodiversity, food production, offers no clear benefits for climate adaptation, and may displace communities, according to a new report produced by two top intergovernmental agencies. Rather than […]

A line in the sand: Dryland restoration for a food secure future

Fortifying dryland ecosystems in Africa against degradation and desertification is crucial to avoid exacerbating the risks of widespread food insecurity on the continent, said participants at virtual conference, hosted by the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) on the eve of the launch of the U.N. Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030. Presentations at GLF Africa: Restoring Africa’s […]

Undisturbed forests could cease to exist in large tropical humid regions by 2050, study says

Satellite data show that undisturbed forests will completely disappear in large tropical humid regions by 2050 under current disturbance rates, according to new research. Forests play a key role in stabilizing the environment; their carbon-storage capacity offering a nature-based solution to climate change by keeping the release of planet-warming greenhouse gases in check. In a […]

Wanted: A balanced assessment of the ecological impact of all vegetable oils

All too often, bias ingrained into conservationist campaign narratives obfuscates the context in which crops are produced, unjustly vilifying some and celebrating others. Now, a team of leading international experts is urging that closer scrutiny of the environmental impact of all crops in the context of product and land use is warranted amid growing competition […]

Strategic forest and landscape restoration for bioenergy and human survival

Developing biofuel-based regenerative supply systems can deliver much-needed energy to consumers in the Global South and prevent the collapse of ecosystems, while contributing to the efficiency of a circular bioeconomy, according to scientists.  Biofuels – particularly wood and charcoal – are the sole source of energy for at least 2.6 billion people worldwide, mainly in Africa and Asia, where crop […]

National forest monitoring capacity increases worldwide, research shows

Keeping tabs on the quantity of carbon stored in forests is a vital part of global efforts to curb planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions. Protecting and sustainably managing forests could contribute up to 30 percent of the goal established by the U.N. Paris Agreement on climate change, which aims to prevent mean annual temperatures from rising […]

‘Forgotten’ plants a boon for biodiversity

A disproportionate three quarters of human food consumption derives from only 12 plant species and five types of animal, according to a story published as part of “Follow the Food,” a series produced by Britain’s BBC. At least 30,000 of the 350,000 known plant species are edible, according to the story. Despite this massive potential, only 170 species of […]

Selective memories: The historical roots of environmentalism

When the late British scientist Richard Grove spoke at the Nehru Memorial Museum & Library in 2006, he did what historians often do — he demonstrated parallels between past and present. But Grove was not a conformist. By the time of his presentation in New Delhi, he had already changed the generally accepted historical narrative […]