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Articles on Forests

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Which path will the government take? Roger Jones

How our forests are governed is not yet out of the woods

Three years ago, government plans to privatise the forests met with strong opposition from community groups and NGOs. But there have been calls for change – among others the Woodland Trust has called for…
Fire is one of the reasons tall trees struggle in the heat. Valley_Guy/Flickr

Catch-22: big trees fight climate change but suffer in the heat

Clearing forests is one of the major contributors to carbon dioxide emissions — something we’ll need to keep in check if we’re to have any hope of mitigating climate change. Recent research suggested that…
Changing corporate attitudes are giving orangutans and other endangered species in Indonesia’s rainforests more hope of survival. Flickr/Austronesian Expeditions

How global forest-destroyers are turning over a new leaf

Indonesia is the world’s biggest destroyer of forests and four multinational corporations — APP, APRIL, Wilmar and Golden Agri Resources — have been responsible for much of it. Until recently these mega-corporations…
Large trees don’t slow down with age. Michelle Venter

Big old trees grow faster, making them vital carbon absorbers

Large, older trees have been found to grow faster and absorb carbon dioxide more rapidly than younger, smaller trees, despite the previous view that trees’ growth slowed as they developed. Research published…
The Styx forests: world heritage, or soon to be unprotected again? Rob Blakers www.robblakers.com

Australia going backwards on World Heritage listed forests

The Abbott government wants iconic forests removed from the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, so they can be logged – a plan opposed by timber companies, their industry body, Tasmania’s Premier…
Using tree measurements by Papua New Guinean villagers such as Daniel and Jackson, scientists can estimate that this tree stores about one tonne of carbon in its trunk and branches. Michelle Venter

How tree huggers can save forests with science

While hugging a tree sounds relaxing, it’s harder than you might think - especially when the tree is 20 storeys high and 3 metres wide, it’s hot as hell, and you’re swatting away swarms of sweat bugs…
150,000 square kilometres of tropical rainforest is destroyed every year. Threat to democracy

Carbon emissions must not distract us from conservation

With current concerns focusing, quite rightly, on controlling carbon emissions, it is easy to lose sight of the need for continued conservation efforts. In fact our recent study published in the Proceedings…
Longer droughts and hotter temperatures are taking down the world’s forests. Jonathan Nalder

Across the world, trees are dropping dead

Over the last 30 years, every forested continent has had a widespread drought which has killed trees. The geographical scale of drought, and the duration and almost coordinated nature of these droughts…
We can develop a logging industry that works for everyone. Flickr/Ta Ann: Behind the veneer

How to get sustainable forestry right

Australian forestry is shifting: in recent months some states have moved to log less, some more. More logging brings protests about environmental values; less, complaints about how it will affect the state’s…
Harnessing the energy in wood may help wean Australia off fossil fuels. Flickr/chriscardinal

Bioenergy a burning question for Tasmania’s forests

With Australia trying to meet renewable energy targets and reduce emissions wherever possible, we should be considering bioenergy. Bioenergy can be made by burning biomass in a variety of forms, including…
A sliver of hope as forests learn to consume more CO2. Moyan Brenn

Forests less thirsty thanks to increasing carbon dioxide levels

Global warming is primarily driven by increasing emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities. Chief among these gases is carbon dioxide (CO2), which warms the planet by trapping heat that would…
Tropical forests such as this in Borneo remove large quantities of atmospheric carbon dioxide. H-D Viktor Boehm

As temperatures rise, tropical forests absorb less CO2

Rising temperatures are linked to a decrease in carbon dioxide (CO2) absorption by tropical forests, according to a 50-year study published today. Greenhouse gases, such as CO2, contribute to global warming…
Malaysia’s tropical forests contain a rich array of plant and animal life not found elsewhere. Flickr/Tinkerpoet

Study shows only 22% of Malaysian Borneo still covered by intact forest

Nearly 80% of land in the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak has been impacted by undocumented logging and forests clearing operations, a new study has found. The impacts included building new roads…
If deforestation is cut down, the world’s forests could act as a large net sink for carbon emissions. Flickr/sobriquet.net

Explainer: how much carbon can the world’s forests absorb?

You are walking through the bush when you see an enormous tree trunk, tens of metres long, lying across the forest floor. Imagine you and several dozen friends lifting it by hand. Now you’ve literally…
Forests and forestry are both important to Victorians: the government should keep an eye on them. lizardstomp/Flickr

Victorian law change abandons native forests to loggers

At the end of this month, the Victorian Parliament is expected to pass a Bill giving industry long-term control of timber resources in Victoria’s native forests. The government says the changes are important…
Any agreement to end the forest ‘wars’ should neither prop up a failing industry nor shut down dissent. AAP Image/Matthew Newton

Tasmanian Forests Agreement: liberal society needs an alternative

Fred Gale’s article, Tasmanian Forests Agreement: deeply flawed, worth backing, provides interesting insights into the views of one segment of the Tasmanian community that supports the Tasmanian Forest…
Whose opinion of this forest is most important? The Tasmanian Forests Agreement has decided. Sarah Caulfield

Tasmanian Forests Agreement: deeply flawed, worth backing

On April 30 2013, Tasmania’s Parliament passed the Tasmanian Forests Agreement, with the aim of ending one of the world’s longest-running forestry conflicts. The deal “locks up” a further half-million…

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