Tuesday, September 8, 2015

[biofuelwatch] FAO’s new optimistic assessment on reduced deforestation is totally misplaced say forest activists





FAO's new optimistic assessment on reduced deforestation is totally
misplaced say forest activists

7 September, Durban: The Global Forest Coalition[1], a coalition of
Indigenous Peoples and environmental activist movements from 50
different countries has denounced FAO's optimistic assessment that
deforestation has been halved since 1990 as a false claim. FAO
released its Global Forest Resource Assessment 2015 today at the World
Forestry Congress in Durban, South Africa. The Global Forest Coalition
said that the Forest Resource Assessment is misleading as it accepts
monoculture tree plantations as "planted" forests, even though they
form a major threat to the world's biodiversity.

 "We don't want a world without forests, nor one where plantations
have replaced forest.  Forests have life, they are complex ecosystems.
Monoculture Plantations are dead zones, green deserts, they have only
one species, there is no life in them, they are often sprayed with
herbicides and can never fulfill the ecological function of forests-
give us clean air, water, or food," said Carolina Lagos of the GFC
member group VientoSur from Chile, one of the participants of the
Fostering Community Conservation Conference that was organized by GFC
the week prior to the World Forestry Congress.

The FRA 2015 shows that timber plantations have expanded with 110
million hectares since 1990. This expansion, which is increasingly
driven by wood-based bioenergy demand, comes at the expense of real
forests and other precious ecosystems, including grassland. Meanwhile,
it claims that an area the size of South Africa in real forests was
lost since 1990, but that deforestation rates have started to decline.
However, a recent study[2] by the University of Maryland claims that
deforestation rates have actually increased by 62%. This independent
study used satellite imaging, unlike the FAO report where 98.8% of the
global area reported depended on often inaccurate self reporting from
governments.

This is significant given that halting deforestation by 2020 is one of
the UNs soon to be adopted Sustainable Development Goals. "The
adoption of the target to halt deforestation by 2020 will be a
historical victory for the world's forests and forest people, but we
will continue to lose forest biodiversity as long as the replacement
of forests by monoculture tree plantations is not accounted for due to
the use of a flawed definition of "forests", warns Simone Lovera, the
director of the Global Forest Coalition. "Due to this flawed
definition, trees have become an important threat to biodiversity,
especially in countries like South Africa",

A list of spokespersons for interviews is available on GFC's website
at http://globalforestcoalition. org/media/

Follow us on twitter @gfc123

Media contact:

Ashlesha Khadse

In Durban cell and whatsapp: +27 81 444 8399 | email:
ashlesha@ globalforestcoalition.org

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[1] Global Forest Coalition is a worldwide coalition of almost 80 NGOs
and Indigenous peoples' organizations from 40 different countries
striving for rights-based, socially just forest conservation policies.

 [2] Link Kim, D.-H., Sexton, J.O. & Townshend, J.R. 2015. Accelerated
deforestation in the humid tropics from the 1990s to the 2000s.
Geophysical Research Letters

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Posted by: almuth@ernsting.wanadoo.co.uk



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