Restoring the earth
- 1 Definitions
- 2 Protecting and restoring forests
- 3 Clearcutting
- 4 Mountaintop removal
- 5 Rainforests
- 6 Indonesia
- 7 Urban forests
- 8 Local forests
- 9 Forest fires
- 10 Planting trees to sequester carbon
- 11 Conserving and rebuilding soils
- 12 Regenerating fisheries
- 13 Protecting plant and animal diversity
- 14 Benefits of reforestration
- 15 Why is our land greener?
- 16 Forest resources of nations in relation to human well-being (Kauppi et al. 2018)
- 17 Reforestation vs. deforestation
- 18 Reforestation
- 19 UN’s 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs)
- 20 Impacts of SDGs on deforestation
- 21 Deforestation effects on climate
- Deforestation: The conversion of forest to another land use or the long-term reduction of the tree canopy cover below a 10 percent threshold. Permanent or long-term.
- Primary forests: Forests that have never been logged and have developed following natural disturbances and under natural processes, regardless of its age.
- Secondary forests: Forests regenerating largely through natural processes after significant human or natural disturbance, and which differ from primary forests in forest composition and/or canopy structure.
- Disturbed forests: Any forest type that has in its interior significant areas of disturbance by people, including clearing, felling for wood extraction, anthropogenic fires, road construction, etc.
- Frontier forests: Large, ecologically intact, and relatively undisturbed forests that support the natural range of species and forest functions (WRI definition).
- Forest plantation: Planting and/or seeding in the process of afforestation or reforestation. Consists of introduced species or, in some cases, indigenous species. Also called silviculture.
2 Protecting and restoring forests
- Stabilize the soil
- Prevent landslides and flooding
- Convert CO2 into O
- Need to be protected
Planting lost forests
- Essential to restoring the balance to Earth’s natural system
Silts streams, rivers, and irrigation networks
- Selective cutting only mature trees
- Leaving younger trees to grow and be cut later
4 Mountaintop removal
Forests on our mountains very near us are destroyed in order to produce coal for energy.
Richest ecosystem on Earth
Contains over 50% of all species of plants and animals we have.
As we lose the rainforests, we are altering the climate of the entire planet.
In Indonesia, primary rainforests were the predominant ecosystem in the 1970s.
Logging occurred on a widespread scale.
20 years later, some secondary forests are reaching the maturity for logging to occur again.
Overall, land use has completely and irrevocably changed in Indonesia.
- Rainforest ⇒ Agricultural cropland, grazing land for livestock, development
7 Urban forests
- In the sidewalks
- In the medians
- Near parking lots
- In the grassy areas
- Are vital to the urban landscape
- Help reduce heat
- Provide shading canopy
- Helps with air pollutions (Carbon sequestration)
- Are really helpful
More trees ⇒ Better quality of city life
8 Local forests
Several forests nearby
Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve
- About 3 mi from the Gainesville campus
- Over 1,600 acres
- Trees over 150-200 years old
- Young and old trees
- Extremely large trees
- Home of the Elachee Nature Center
9 Forest fires
Natural part of the ecosystem (Why wildfires are necessary (4 mins))
Drought conditions—lack of water, rainfall ⇒ California
Georgia usually do not have forest fires of this magnitude.
10 Planting trees to sequester carbon
Every newly planted tree seedling in the tropics
- Removes an average of 50kg of CO2 from the atmosphere each year
- During growth 20–50 years
Billions of trees need to be planted on millions of hectares of degraded land.
- We’ve been doing a lot of logging for the past 50 years
Stopping deforestation and planting trees are relatively inexpensive.
Some organizations give out free tree seedlings.
- e.g., Arbor Day Foundation
11 Conserving and rebuilding soils
“Loss of protective vegetation”
Tree shelterbelts (windbreaks)
- Different crops in alternate strips to prevent soil erosion
US government pays farmers to plant fragile cropland with grasses (not sod) or trees
Africa, China, Israel: Planting trees to stop desert
12 Regenerating fisheries
Not commercial fish farms
Fisheries refer to areas of natural water bodies with marine diversity.
Coral reefs are dying because of the acidity of the oceans and rising CO2 levels.
- Great barometers
Establishing marine parks limits fishing and prohibits mining and oil drilling.
Protecting these ocean areas will allow fish populations for food consumption to replenish over time to a balanced state.
13 Protecting plant and animal diversity
Two essential steps
- Stabilization of the human population
- Stabilization of the earth’s climate
1973 US Endangered Species Act
Parks and wildlife corridors
- Areas set aside for animal migration
14 Benefits of reforestration
- Are a large source of fresh water
- Prevent soil erosion
- Filter and supply fresh water
- Remove harmful air pollutants
U.S. forests offset between 10-20% of carbon emissions each year ⇒ Mitigation of climate change
Reforestation brings back all these benefits to us.
15 Why is our land greener?
16 Forest resources of nations in relation to human well-being (Kauppi et al. 2018)
Countries with a high Human Development Index (HDI) see increasing forest growth
Countries with a low HDI see increasing deforestation
More development & commercialization ⇒ Reforestation?
17 Reforestation vs. deforestation
Net forest loss ⇒ Net forest gain
- Can be political, not just environmental
- Developing countries ⇒ Weaker environmental policies
Process known as “leakage”
- Outsourcing wood products ⇐ Poorer countries
- Wooden furniture
- Paper pulp
- National increase in forest cover
- Sharp increase in imported wood
Plantation of oil palm and rubber ⇒ Technically reforestation
- Ecologically not much beneficial
Supposedly naturally-recovered forests
- Not as biologically diverse and well-functioning as natural forest
What are the motivations for reforestation?
- Exotic foreign species over native species?
- Felling for wood extraction?
- What about nature, environment, human, and sustainability?
Prevent damage in the first place!
19 UN’s 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs)
20 Impacts of SDGs on deforestation
Improved education (SDG 4) ⇒ Reducing deforestation
Increasing GDP (SDG 8) ⇒ No statistically meaningful link with deforestation (Koop and Tole, 1999)
High levels of inequality (SDG 10) ⇒ Increasing deforestation (Koop and Tole, 2001)
Improved gender equality (SDG 5) ⇒ Decreasing deforestation (Agarwal, 2009)
Peaceful relations (SDG 16) ⇒ Decreasing deforestation (Nackoney et al., 2014)
Achieving global food security (SDG 2) (Tscharntke et al., 2012), meeting energy needs (SDG 7) (German et al., 2011), and developing sustainable infrastructure (SDG 11) (Laurance et al., 2009) ⇒ Careful planning and monitoring
21 Deforestation effects on climate
Deforestation effects on climate (5 mins)