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Why are forests important for mitigating Climate Change?

Forests are important for mitigating Climate Change because they provide one of the most important strategies to deal with climate change i.e. Carbon Sink. Here are a few facts from the Article.

  • Forests act as one of the Major Carbon Sinks.
  • The loss and degradation of forests across the globe has been one of the major issues related to the Environment
  • In the tropical, temperate, and boreal forests together, approximately 31 percent of the carbon is stored in the biomass and 69 percent in the soil
  • As per the recent data, forests provide the most significant “carbon sink”.  This absorbs around 7.6 billion metric tonnes of CO2 per year.
  • Tropical rainforests across the world sequester a high amount of carbon from the atmosphere than temperate or other kinds of forests.

Overview of the problem.

Due to excess greenhouse gases, the atmosphere of the earth contains more trapped heat. This causes an increase in global temperature. Carbon is one of the most abundant greenhouse gases. CO2 is included as one of the Kyoto Gases. The countries across the world have come together to reduce the emissions of the Six Kyoto Gases. However, Carbon is on the high priority list because the burning fossil fuels are nowhere seen having a break.

Forest, takes the carbon as it is very much essential for them. This helps in reducing the amount of carbon present in the atmosphere. 

Greenhouse Effect, the major problem

Basically, it is a lower school grade concept. Plants and Trees take Carbon Dioxide and give Oxygen. It is the opposite in the case of animals, we take Oxygen and give Carbon Dioxide.

The loss and degradation of forests across the globe have been one of the major issues relating to the Environment to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement by 2030. Also, as per the Scientists, the forests can contribute up to one-third of the total climate change mitigation.

In the tropical, temperate, and boreal forests together, approximately 31 percent of the carbon is stored in the biomass and 69 percent in the soil

Carbon Sink Forests and Climate Change.

There is a relationship between Carbon Sink Forests and Climate Change. Carbon Sink Forests can effectively remove the excess carbon from the atmosphere. As per the recent data, forests provide the most significant “carbon sink”.  This absorbs around 7.6 billion metric tonnes of CO2 per year.

However this is only 1.5 times more carbon than what the United States emits CO2 annually.

Emission by Developed Nations cause problem to the forests

Role of Tropical rainforests in mitigating Climate Change.

Tropical rainforests are also very much important in mitigating the impacts of Climate Change. Three of the largest tropical rainforests are in the Amazon, Congo River basin, and Southeast Asia. Tropical rainforests across the world sequester a high amount of carbon from the atmosphere than temperate or other kinds of forests.

However, the destruction of Tropical Rainforests for increasing agricultural area is one of the major problems in Climate Change mitigation. Again, the bigger concern is that economically developed nations emit a high amount of Carbon Dioxide and we have also a role here which we need to think.

Climate Change is a human rights Issue.

Climate Change is a human rights issue too, people from the developed nations emit carbon and they expect people from underdeveloped areas of the Amazon, Congo Basin, etc. to avoid destroying forests. This is one of the biggest ironies of modern times. It is just like a rich man is creating damages whose fine is being paid by the poor person having no resources.

How the major concerns can be addressed?

There have been various efforts from the Nations to reduce the emissions. As per the Bonn Challenge, a global effort is made to bring back 350 million hectares of degraded or deforested land by 2030. Almost every nation has framed legal provisions for those who cut the trees. Implementation of the New York Declaration can also address the concern.

The United Nations has come up with a solution for this problem. This is called Benefit Sharing. Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change have developed a solution called Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+). In this scheme, the benefits are shared by the project implementing nations. Here, the Developing countries would receive results-based payments for results-based actions.

Meanwhile we can think and make our mind so that we can contribute in Mitigating the impact of Climate Change by planting more trees.

Kaudinya Arpan is a Glaciologist and Research Scholar focused on the use of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. He is also trained in Philosophy of Life.

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