Not Just Carbon: Capturing All the Benefits of Forests for Stabilizing the Climate from Local to Global Scales
Forests have significant and positive effects on our planet, not only in terms of carbon sequestration, but through a variety of other processes. These include biophysical processes that affect transfers of energy and moisture in the atmosphere, the contribution to food security, the protection of human health as well as improving water security. Accounting for all of these processes significantly affects estimates of the impacts of deforestation, rendering the global cooling effect of avoiding tropical deforestation as much as 50% greater.
This report summarises the science on the biophysical effects of deforestation on climate stability and explores the policy implications of the resulting impacts at three scales: global climate policy, regional cooperation on precipitation management, and national policies related to agriculture and public health.
The report also provides next steps to address these impacts, and urges policymakers and other actors working in the sector to recognise and address the full range of forests’ services. Potential areas of investment from public and private financiers are highlighted, that would help to address the widespread implications of forest cover change. As well as providing an overview of jurisdictional approaches to deforestation-free supply chains with an example from Mato Grosso, Brazil.