In 13 years, Antioquia lost 290 thousand hectares of forest. This Pact aims to lay the groundwork for decisions on land management and scaling BanCO2…
On 12 April last, the first Montane Forest Observatory in Colombia and the Latin America region was set up, in a joint effort by the Swiss and Colombian governments.
The main aim of the collaboration between Swiss Cooperation’s Andean forest Programme and the Antioquia Pacto por los Bosques is to lay the foundations of information for taking decisions over land management in the face of climate change. The Observatory will also be a base for producing a research strategy for applying an Ecological Observation System; strengthening schemes and practices for the restoration and conservation of strategic areas to provide connected conservation corridors; scaling up the BanCO2 Community Services strategy for offsetting the metropolitan carbon footprint; and restoring countryside and mountain forests in the Valle de Aburrá Valley. At the same time, it will promote and carry out campaigns to raise awareness and dissemination for decision-makers.
Jurgen Blaser, professor in International Forestry and Climate Change at the University of Berne, adviser to the Andean Forest Programme run by Swiss Cooperation (SDC), has conducted an interesting analysis of the situation of forests across the world, which is presented below.
THE SITUATION OF THE WORLD’S FORESTS* There are some four billion hectares of forest in the world, distributed more or less between the Tropics and the temperate areas. Four countries together possess half of all the world’s forests: Canada, the United States, Russia and Brazil.
Today we are losing a great deal of forest through deforestation in the Tropics, but in recent decades we have also lost a lot of forest in the temperate zone, in the United States, in Europe, because wherever forests grow, people can also live with better quality.
Deforestation is always related to development. Today there is a lot of development in the Tropics.
There are two different factors in deforestation. One is changing land use; another is forest degradation, the use of timber and non-timber products. Local people use the forest. Today, in Asia, there is considerable deforestation, not so much by local people as by international development as the result of demand for palm oil, and in Brazil for soybean.
Relations are different between the forest and the local situation or the global situation. At global level, there is commercial deforestation and at local level, there is forest use, and perhaps forest degradation, but not necessarily deforestation.
It is impossible to say where it is better and where it is worse, situations differ greatly. In Antioquia there are mountain forests which are important for ecosystems and water and biodiversity services. In Antioquia there is good local knowledge of the role of forests, in Cornare, other entities and the municipalities. I have been working in the region for 17 years and I have seen the change in knowledge through a unique experiment for restoring the forests to conserve them and use them sustainably.
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*Source: El Colombiano digital newspaper