Off-setting the CO2 emissions

Off-setting the CO2 emissions

27 July 2008

published by http://nation.ittefaq.com


Global/Bangladesh — Enhanced management style of the world’s tropical forests has key implications for humanity’s ability to cut down its contribution to climate change, according to a paper lately in print in the Australian based Science Journal.

The writers – Dr Pep Canadell from CSIRO (Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization) and the Global Carbon Project, and Dr Michael Raupach from CSIRO – state the billions of tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) absorbed annually by the world’s forests represents an ‘economic subsidy’ for climate change mitigation worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

Conversely, concerns about the immovability of forest carbon stocks, challenges in quantifying changes in the size of those stocks, and concerns about the environmental and socio-economic impacts of reforestation programs, have limited the adoption of policies designed to foster forestry activities.

“With political will and the involvement of tropical regions, forests can contribute to both climate change protection through carbon sequestration and also enhanced economic, environmental and socio-cultural benefits,” Dr Canadell says.

“Forestry activities have the economic potential to offset 2-4 per cent of projected CO2 emissions by 2030, with tropical regions accounting for nearly two thirds of the total offset”.

“A key opportunity is the reduction of carbon emissions from deforestation and degradation in tropical regions,” he says.

A predictable 13 million hectares of the world’s forested areas – almost exclusively in the tropical regions – are deforested annually. However, reducing rates of deforestation by 50 per cent by 2050, and stopping further deforestation when countries reach 50 per cent of their current forested area, would avoid emissions equivalent to six years of current fossil fuel emissions by the end of this century. This educated guess shows that even with important continuing deforestation, the mitigation potential is large, although major changes in governance and price incentives are required to realize this potential.

It has been also noted that efforts to alleviate climate change by increasing both the overall area and volume of biota in those forests, does carry the risk that events such as bushfires and insect outbreaks can release massive amounts of sequestered carbon back into the atmosphere. Since 2000, for illustration, increases in the areas of Canada’s forests affected by bush fires and insect outbreaks have transformed them from a ‘CO2 sink’ to a ‘CO2 source’ – a situation which is expected to continue for the next 20-30 years. Forests also have an effect on biophysical properties of the land surface, such as sunlight reflectivity and evaporation, and that climate models suggest large reforestation programs in the boreal (colder) regions of the word could have limited benefits due to the replacement of large areas of reflective snow with dark forest canopies.

On the other hand, the climate benefits of reforestation in the tropics are enhanced by positive biophysical changes such as cloud formation which further reflect sunlight.

Here Bangladesh falls in the danger zone of climate change and also deforestation has been our daily practice resultant from mismanagement, corruption and unawareness.

Sustainable greenery scheme and sustainable forestations could save Bangladesh from the severe outcomes of climate change.


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