Half of world's forest species at risk

Jun 04, 2014
Cattle are seen at an illegal settlement in the Jamanxim National Forest, state of Para, northern Brazil, November 29, 2009

Half of the world's forest species are at risk from climate change and farming, the United Nations warned on Tuesday, as it called for "urgent action" to manage them better.

In its first global study of genetic resources, the UN's Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) said woodland was shrinking fastest in Brazil, Indonesia and Nigeria.

"Forests provide food, goods and services, which are essential to the survival and well-being of all humanity," the FAO's forestry director Eduardo Rojas-Briales said in a statement.

"These benefits all rely on safeguarding the rich store of the world's forest genetic diversity, which is increasingly at risk."

The report found that around half of the 8,000 reported and subspecies were perceived as being endangered.

The ten countries that lost the most forest area between 1990 and 2010 were Brazil, Indonesia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, Bolivia, Venezuela and Australia, it said.

FAO said biodiversity boosted both the productivity and nutritional value of forest products like leafy vegetables, honey, fruits, seeds, nuts, roots, tubers and mushrooms.

Genetic diversity also protects forests from pests and ensures they can "adapt to changing environmental conditions, including those stemming from ", the FAO said.

The FAO called for more efforts to raise awareness of the importance of biodiversity and to combat invasive species, as well as the development of national seed programmes to ensure the availability of genetically-appropriate tree seeds.

Explore further: Switch from cattle fields to 'carbon farms' could tackle climate change, save endangered animals cheaply

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mbee1
1.8 / 5 (5) Jun 05, 2014
Half truths passed off as gossible. Brazils forest are being cut down as the population expands. The same thing happened in gasp the US and Canada to name only two nations. When we went from 4 million people in 1776 to 300 million today something had to give. This has zero to do with climate change. Since we are at an average temperature less than in 1000 AD per a whole bunch of temperatue reconstructions, the idea the climate change which may occur will end the forests is both stupid and insane. Since the temperature has not changed in 17 years per the IPCC climate warming may in fact not be occuring.
Vietvet
4 / 5 (4) Jun 05, 2014
@mbee1

Another denier spouting bull shit.