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The importance of climate change when considering the role of forests in the alleviation of poverty

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Forests could play a major role in the alleviation of poverty in many different parts of the world. However, forests are dynamic, and their rate of change is accelerating as a result of anthropogenic activities. Climate change, for example, will alter the nature of many protection forests in mountainous areas, exposing the inhabitants to increased risk from natural hazards. It will also affect the viability of plantation forests established in drier areas to combat desertification. Many forests are showing increased productivity, although the causes remain unclear. Sea-level change will destabilize coastal forests, particularly mangroves, reducing their effectiveness in coastal protection. Air pollution has already destabilized many forests, and is likely to be an increasing problem in the forests surrounding urban areas in developing countries. Many impacts remain uncertain, and there remains a great need to integrate the biophysical knowledge that currently exists with socio-economic information associated with the impact on forest-dependent communities.

Keywords: Air pollution; Environmental change; Forest benefits; Poverty alleviation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: FRBC Chair of Forest Management, Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia, Forest Sciences Centre, 2045 Main Mall, Vancouver, British Colombia V6T 1Z4, Canada. 2: School of Forest and Ecosystem Science, Faculty of Land and Food Resources, The University of Melbourne, Water Street, Creswick, Victoria 3363, Australia.

Publication date: 2006-12-01

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