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Climate change for forest policy-makers

An approach for integrating climate change into national forest policy in support of sustainable forest management – Version 2.0














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    Book (stand-alone)
    The key role of forest and landscape restoration in climate action 2022
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    Forest and land degradation affects almost 2 billion hectares (ha) of land and threatens the livelihoods, well-being, food, water and energy security of nearly 3.2 billion people. Forest and landscape restoration (FLR) is a relatively recent response to address these impacts and aims to recover the ecological functionality and enhance human well-being in deforested and degraded landscapes. Forest and landscape restoration practices have also proven to have significant benefits for addressing the impacts of climate change. These include carbon sequestration and reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, improving the resilience of landscapes and reducing disaster risks. Forest and landscape restoration is therefore one of the key solutions of the agriculture, forestry and other land-use (AFOLU) sector considered in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), confirmed in the Glasgow’s Declaration on Forest and Land during the twenty-sixth UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP26). This publication highlights the links between FLR and climate change mitigation and adaptation issues, and considers further opportunities to enable greater integration between the two agendas. Many large restoration initiatives have been launched in the last decade. More projects are under preparation through the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, including many projects of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). These projects, often funded under the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and other climate funds are emphasized in the report to illustrate the numerous climate benefits of FLR. As a relatively cost-effective approach to supporting carbon sequestration, conservation and sustainable forest use, FLR is playing an active role in enabling climate mitigation. Should the Bonn Challenge reach its goal to restore 350 million ha, it could sequester up to 1.7 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide (Gt CO2) per year. Reduction of GHG emissions is also crucial, and the FLR approach provides a strong basis to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, especially through Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) activities. It can also support sustainable bioenergy, in particular the wood energy sector, a large contributor of GHGs. Forest and landscape restoration is also key for supporting the conservation of existing forests and landscapes to protect and enhance carbon already stored in ecosystems, such as those in peatlands. This publication describes the different tools that have been developed by FAO to better measure the quantities of carbon stored and other climate benefits achieved through FLR projects.
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    The charcoal transition 2017
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    Charcoal is widely used for cooking and heating in developing countries. The consumption of charcoal has been at high level and the demand may keep growing over the next decades, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Some preliminary studies indicate that among commonly used cooking fuels, unsustainably produced charcoal can be the most greenhouse gas intensive fuels and simple measures could deliver high GHG mitigation benefits. Through the Paris Agreement on climate change adopted in 2015, count ries set themselves ambitious targets to curb climate change, and forest-related measures have an important role to play in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Over 70% of the countries who have submitted their (intended) nationally determined contributions (NDCs) mention forestry and land use mitigation measures. Despite the importance of woodfuel in many countries, few have explicitly included measures to reduce emissions from woodfuel production and consumption. Many of the NDCs that in clude forestry do not yet provide detailed information on how mitigation is to be achieved. The overall objective of the publication is to provide data and information to allow for informed decision-making on the contribution sustainable charcoal production and consumption can make to climate change mitigation. More specifically, the publication aims to answer the following questions: - What are the climate change impacts of the current practices on charcoal production and consumption worldwide and across regions? - What is the potential of sustainable charcoal production in GHG emission reductions and how such potential can be achieved? - What are the key barriers to sustainable charcoal production and what actions are required to develop a climate-smart charcoal sector?
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Guidelines on the Implementation of Nature-based Solutions (NbS) to Combat the Negative Impact of Climate Change on Forestry
    Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Türkiye, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan
    2023
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    Climate change is one of the most critical social and environmental concerns and the biggest threat to economic stability in human history. Türkiye, Azerbaijan, and Central Asia countries, namely Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, are vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change. Although average forest cover is only 10.2 percent of these countries (FAO-SEC countries), they play an essential role in climate change mitigation and adaptation, including human well-being and biodiversity co-benefits. The NbS concept has gained attention since the late 2000s. Its practical contribution to global climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts has found significant implementation opportunities in forestry to support the protection and conservation, restoration and expansion, and sustainable management of forests under the impact of climate change. Globally, implementing NbSs to combat the negative impact of climate change on forestry is promoted by the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Paris Agreement, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Regionally, implementing NbSs to combat the negative impacts of climate change on forestry has been included in the forest policy initiatives of the countries in the sub-region recently. As a result, governments have implemented NbSs through national strategies and programs to address societal challenges by enhancing ecosystem services and promoting human well-being and biodiversity co-benefits. For example, Azerbaijan has implemented afforestation, reforestation, rehabilitation, and restoration activities in forest fund lands on an average of 9 727 hectares (ha) annually since 2000. Kazakhstan aims to save the Aral Sea basin from salinity and improve soil fertility through afforestation activities of saxaul species on 0.25 million ha, and the afforestation area in the Aral Sea will be extended by 1 million ha till 2025. Kyrgyzstan has planned a 1,000-ha annual plantation program to expand protected natural areas to 10 percent. Tajikistan implements 2,000 ha of annual plantation activities to increase the greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation potential through participatory forestry sector development. Türkiye implemented afforestation, soil conservation, forest rehabilitation, pasture rehabilitation, private afforestation, artificial regeneration, and establishment of energy forests activities on 9.62 million ha from 1946 to 2022. Turkmenistan conducts afforestation activities with drought-resistant plant species and established the "Golden Century Lake" in the Karakum Desert to improve the climate conditions and conserve biodiversity. Uzbekistan declared the Aral Sea region

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