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Near East and North Africa Forests and Climate Change: Climate Induced Forest Disturbances, Building Resilience and Boosting Implementation of Countries Nationally Determined Contributions (N)DCs FO:NEFRC/2021/3

25th Session for the Near East Forestry and Range Commission















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    Article
    Implications of forest definition for quantifying disturbance regime characteristics in Mediterranean forests
    XV World Forestry Congress, 2-6 May 2022
    2022
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    In the context of climate change and the increasing incidence of extreme events, global-scale assessments of forest disturbance regimes are needed to monitor changes, inform decision-making and adjust management and planning. But estimations of disturbance regime parameters can be strongly influenced by the criteria used for defining what constitutes a forest. Forests in Mediterranean regions are subject to increasingly higher pressure from climate change and anthropogenic factors. These pressures take the form of slow and diffuse degradation processes, such as drought-induced mortality and competition with shrubs, but also sudden stand- replacing disturbances, such as fire. Many Mediterranean forests, composed of widely spaced trees, are at the lower limit of the 10% canopy cover threshold set by the FAO for defining forests, while others are highly fragmented and mixed with a bushy matrix, qualifying them as other wooded lands. We thus expect assessments of forest disturbance regimes in the Mediterranean region to be particularly sensitive to the thresholds chosen. We assess the uncertainty linked to using different forest definitions for calculating disturbance rotation periods for the 40 ecoregions composing the Mediterranean biome. Using Google Earth Engine and remotely sensed data between 2000-2015, we apply different criteria for calculating the extent of forests and the areas disturbed within them, accounting for forest type, minimum size, canopy density and land use change. We identify the ecoregions with the disturbance rotation periods that are the most sensitive to these different definitions and compare the overall uncertainty with other major forest biomes. We conclude by discussing the importance of identifying harmonized definitions that can best support the sustainable management of Mediterranean forests, as well as opportunities for making consistent and accurate global baselines that can help improve projections of climate change impacts. Keywords: Forests, Disturbances, Remote Sensing, Planning, Climate Change ID: 3622233
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    Article
    Climate-smart fire planning and management
    XV World Forestry Congress, 2-6 May 2022
    2022
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    Improved management and stewardship of our world’s forests are essential in supporting mitigation and adaptation to climate change. Fire management is an important part of this portfolio of nature-based climate solutions, in large part through increasing forest resilience to catastrophic fire and managing for forest carbon in a manner that accounts for fire risk dynamics. In the USA, government policy now emphasizes climate smart forestry practices that decrease wildfire risk fueled by climate change, and the science underpinning that policy continues to emphasize restoring frequent, low-intensity fire regimes where appropriate to reduce the potential for high-severity wildfires. Although significant social, political, and technical challenges exist, in recent years a new planning concept known as potential wildland fire operational delineations, or PODs, has resulted in changed approaches to fire planning and management that can increase the pace and scale of forest restoration and lead to better fire outcomes. Key innovations include: (1) imbuing wildfire response planning efforts with boundary spanning and anticipatory lenses; (2) stressing evolution and implementation of best practices; (3) co-producing knowledge and infusing analytics with expert knowledge; and (4) delineating fire management and analysis units in ways that are relevant to fire containment operations by linking features like roads, water bodies, and fuel type transitions. As of June 2021, PODs have been implemented on over forty landscapes encompassing National Forest System lands across the western USA, providing utility for planning, communication and outreach, forest prioritization, and incident response strategy development. In this presentation, we will describe how PODs are a natural platform for strategic forest and fire planning that aligns with recommended climate mitigation and adaptation strategies and will provide several real-world examples of PODs in action. Keywords: Climate change, Sustainable forest management, Landscape management, Innovation. ID: 3623957
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    Document
    Potentials of non-Wood Forest Products for Value Chain Development, Value Addition and Development of NWFP-Based Rural Microenterprises in Sudan
    Consultancy report
    2017
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    There is global recognition that forests are not only about trees but also about the people who live in and around them. Empirical evidence on the role of forests in food security, poverty reduction through income and employment generation, and addressing the challenges of climate change is increasingly being generated and documented. Over 1.6 billion people worldwide depend heavily on forest resources for their livelihoods, of which 1.2 billion people in developing countries use trees on farms to generate food and income. For the Near East and North Africa (NENA) region where forest resources are scarce and the potentials for timber production are limited, non-wood forest products (NWFPs) such as fruit, bark, roots, tubers, corms, leaves, flowers, nuts, gums, sap, resins, dyes, honey, mushrooms, medicinal and aromatic plants, and wildlife animal products are becoming ever more important. Local people use these products to meet their daily needs; as a source of food, fodder and medicin e, and to generate income. However, current production of NWFPs represents a small fraction of what it could actually be in most countries in the region, and its full potential for poverty reduction, livelihood improvement and environmental sustainability has yet to be harnessed to help local people in the region out of poverty and food insecurity. Although the commercialization of NWFPs in the NENA region runs deep in the region’s history and has done for thousands of years, local producers sti ll remain on the side-lines and receive a much smaller commercial margin compared to what other actors receive. In this context the FAO, through its Regional Initiative for Small-Scale Family Farming (SSFF), supported country studies in selected NENA countries on the potential of NWFPs for value chain development and value addition to generate evidence-based data on the valorization of NWFPs in the NENA region. The aim is to support policy recommendations, strategies and actions that can increas e benefit retention and poverty reduction by commercializing NWFPs at the local level and boost their contribution to the well-being of rural communities, national economies and to the sustainable development of the NENA countries overall.

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