The sink and the safeguard: Benefits of protecting and restoring intact forests for people and planet (commentary)

The sink and the safeguard: Benefits of protecting and restoring intact forests for people and planet (commentary)

The need for protecting intact forests is pressing, and not just in the hotspots for rapid land use change like the Amazon or the Congo Basin. Forests in countries and regions experiencing relatively lower rates of deforestation, such as Suriname and Gabon, are also at risk of future degradation. Yet these High Forest Low Deforestation (HFLD) countries receive a relatively small portion of climate finance, challenging the ability to conserve and maintain many of the last intact forests. When it comes to climate action, we tend to think of adaptation and mitigation as distinct strategies: efforts either to cope with the impacts or to curtail them. But in fact, research indicates that a significant percentage of initiatives aimed at mitigation also have adaptation outcomes. This is particularly evident in the forest and agricultural sectors. The same holds true for intact forests. Including these forests in the country-level targets of the Paris Agreement is a win-win on both fronts. This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. What I remember most from that summer, ten years ago, are the juxtapositions: bumpy dirt roads and freshly paved highways, expansive cattle ranches and squatters […]

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