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Climate Change in Canada’s Forest Sector: Impacts and Adaptation A Presentation to the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry February 25, 2003 by Greg McKinnon, Forest Sector Coordinator C-CIARN Forest Sector
Presentation Outline Responding to Climate Change: Mitigation or Adaptation? Mitigation Impacts and Adaptation Making Climate Change Adaptation a Reality: Summary
Source: Climate Change 2001: Synthesis Report. Stand-alone edition. Watson, R.T. and the Core Writing Team (Eds.). IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland. Figure SPM-5. p. 17. Responding to Climate Change: Mitigation or Adaptation?
Mitigation Forests are recognized under the Kyoto Protocol in calculating a country’s net CO 2 Two main elements in carbon management: decreased emissions increased sequestration and storage Key questions: Will Canada’s forests be a net sink or a net source for carbon? Will management for carbon be in concert, or in conflict, with other forest management objectives?
Impact of Climate Change on Canada’s Forests Forests are most strongly linked to climate during regeneration and through climate’s impact on disturbances Direct impact of climate change on sustainability of Canada’s forests has national and global implications
Adapting to Climate Change Objectives: Sustainable forest management Maintain and enhance the long-term health of forest ecosystems for the benefit of all living things Sustainable communities Provide environmental, economic, social and cultural opportunities for present and future generations
Making Climate Change Adaptation a Reality in Forest Management
Focus on Policy Increase awareness of importance and immediacy of climate change issues to forest policy-makers and managers Recognize that forest policy may need to change dramatically to allow adaptation to climate change Strengthen linkages between policy and research Institute ‘vulnerability’ approach to climate change impacts and adaptation Incorporate multi-stakeholder interests and reconcile any conflicting forest management objectives, especially on public land
Focus on Forest Practices Manage for resiliency, flexibility and diversity Initiate forest practices now that make sense from a number of perspectives, including climate change, e.g. manage for fire, insects, windthrow Apply adaptive management strategies – initiate, monitor, re-assess, and revise Pursue multi-stakeholder support for contentious forest practices designed to ameliorate effects of climate change, e.g. introduction of exotic tree species, etc.
Focus on Research Determine key knowledge gaps and research priorities – linked to on-the-ground forest management policy and practices Effectively communicate research results to forest users Increase focus on adaptation Increase capacity and financial resources dedicated to impacts and adaptation
Delivery Mechanisms Research: Canadian Forest Service Sustainable Forest Management Network (NCE) Universities Model Forest Network Provincial Forest Research organizations
Delivery Mechanisms Policy Provincial Governments Certification Bodies, e.g. Forest Stewardship Council Model Forest Network Non-Governmental Organizations Industry International Markets
Delivery Mechanisms Forest Practices: Industry Private Landowners Provincial Governments
C-CIARN Forest’s Role To increase the awareness of forest-related issues involving impacts of, and adaptation to, climate change To enhance the capacity for, and coordination of, research on climate change impacts and adaptation pertaining to Canada's forests To facilitate communication about the impacts of climate change and options for adaptation among researchers, forest managers, policymakers, and forest-based communities
Summary Climate change is real There is a much greater probability that Canada’s forests will be a net source rather than a net sink for carbon Options for mitigation of CO 2 emissions through forest management are limited and subject to conflict with other management objectives
Summary (cont’d) More research, linked to policies and practices, is required on impacts and adaptation Forest policies and practices should be adapted in recognition of present, and expected, climate change impacts (vulnerability approach) Forest management and forest-based communities, to be sustainable, must incorporate climate change adaptive strategies
VISIT US AT: www.forest.c-ciarn.ca
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