FFERAL (Forest and Fire Ecology Random Lectures) / CFSC (California Fire Science Consortium) Webinar
Thursday February 18, 2021, 3:30-4:30 PM
Abstract: Global forest area continues to decline while the area of intensively managed forests (plantations) is increasing. Demand for timber continues to increase but there are striking ongoing changes in markets and regional investment. Tropical and semitropical areas are more productive, but transport costs mitigate for local supply and there is huge geographical variability in land-use pressures. Paper markets have declined while the demands for wood fuel, conventional and novel wood-based building materials are increasing. In addition to the overall uplift in demand, there are new requirements for forests to contribute to climate mitigation and to supply the emerging bio economy. Conservation of biodiversity, soil and water protection and public use of forest lands appear to conflict with the need for more intensive management to meet supply and climate objectives. In many parts of the world the intensive management of forests is unpopular and there has been a reemergence of public protest over intensive forest management.
A recent evaluation undertaken for the European Forest Institute (Freer-Smith et al 2019 http://www.efi.int/sites/default/files/files/publication-bank/2019/efi_fstp_9_2019.pdf
) asked how current understanding of forest systems can help policy makers to balance the apparently competing demands on forest lands. This evaluation will be summarized along with comment on the associated policy implementation. Some of the context and analysis undertaken in this study is thought to be relevant in California.
Bio: Peter Freer-Smith is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of California, Davis and cochair of the IUFRO Task Force “Resilient planted forests serving society and the bio economy.” He is a member of the California Board of Forestry & Fire Protection, Effectiveness Monitoring Committee. He has worked on forest sustainability, the benefits of urban greenspace on air quality and the role of forests in climate mitigation. He was the UK Forestry Commission’s Chief Scientific Adviser from 2010 to 2017. Contact: [email protected]