Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 335

Measuring forest degradation not possible any time soon: FAO

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 30 aprile 2012

A Thick Forest

A Thick Forest (Photo credit: Jon Person)

The FAO has released a new paper that underlines the difficulties of measuring forest carbon stock changes. One of its key conclusions is that measuring stock changes caused by forest degradation is not possible in the near future. The finding delivers a huge blow to the Western efforts on REDD (reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation), which has always struggled with the ‘degradation’ part of the equation.
Negotiators and technical experts at this point had failed to come up with a uniform and acceptable definition of forest degradation. The paper notes that measuring forest degradation is significantly more costly and expensive than attempts to measure deforestation, as the changes in the forest occur at the structural level and do not necessarily involve land-use change. This means that they cannot be measured using remote-level sensing. The paper argues that in order to measure stock changes from forest degradation accurately, there must be consistent ground data to measure different types of activities taking place within forests, which includes selective logging, fuelwood removal and fire. Simply, attempting to measure carbon changes from degradation is even more difficult that measuring deforestation – which itself has posed significant problems for researchers.

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