A world population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050 is going to create ever-greater demand for food and fuel, putting ever-growing pressure on forests. Our conventional way of looking at forests as a resource heavily favors the short-term strictly monetary gains associated with clearing forests for timber and making way for agriculture. That essentially ignores the essential, longer term gains and benefits forests provide, which include reducing soil loss and erosion, providing habitat for plant and animal species that in turn provide food, materials, fuel, recreation and psychological support for human populations, their importance in the water cycle and the long-term atmospheric carbon uptake and storage they provide as terra firma’s largest carbon sink.
In order to prevent ongoing deforestation and sustainably value, make use of and manage forest resources and ecosystem, services, scientific researchers and policy makers are now looking to employ a broader, more holistic and interdisciplinary approach. The resulting “Landscape Approach” takes a socio-ecological perspective of these issues, factoring in human needs and activities, such as alleviating poverty and developing communities’ economic and social capital, along with the traditional focus on non-human biodiversity and ecosystems conservation. Read More→