International research community calls for recognition of forests' role in human prosperity | 9/6/2019 | Staff
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World leaders convened for the UN Climate Summit in September amid dire projections of climate instability. The problem is multifaceted, of course, but a recent IPCC report identifies deforestation as the main driver of land-based greenhouse gas emissions, which comprise almost a quarter of all human contributions to climate change. What if more people around the world could be paid to keep forests healthy and intact? And what if doing so would not only curb the climate crisis, but also help people move out of poverty and toward broader prosperity?

A new special issue of World Development examines this and many other ways forests serve to alleviate poverty around the world. The issue's co-editor, Daniel Miller, also serves as Chair for the International Union of Forest Research Organizations' (IUFRO) Global Forest Expert Panel (GFEP) on Forests and Poverty. The panel, which includes 21 other internationally recognized scientific experts, will compile a comprehensive report to be launched at the 75th session of the UN General Assembly in 2020.

Year - Forests - Role - Forests - Climate

"2020 is a crucial year for forests. The key role forests play in tackling global climate change, biodiversity loss, and human development needs is increasingly recognized. Next year, the international community will formally agree on specific plans to protect and restore forests over the next decade. Their implementation will critically shape the fate of people and ecosystems across the globe," says Miller, an assistant professor in the Department of Natural Resource and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois.

The expert panel is now in the process of developing the report, but Miller expects research in the special issue of World Development, including a synthesis article he co-authored, to feature prominently.

Millions - People - World - Forests - Portion

"Millions of people around the world rely on forests for at least a portion of their livelihoods. In the United States, when we think of forests,...
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