Papers concludes that incentives to afforestation can be harmful to the environment

June 25, 2020

"Through a counterfactual analysis, we showed that between 1986 and 2011 the incentives to afforestation in Chile caused an increase in forest plantations, but reduced the extent of native forests", explains the academic from the Faculty of Forest Sciences at the Universidad de Concepción, UdeC, Dr. Cristian Echeverría, about the main conclusions of the paper Impacts of Chilean forest subsidies on forest cover, carbon and biodiversity, published by the journal Nature Sustainability, co-written with academicians Robert Heilmayr from the U. of California, and Eric F. Lambin of Stanford University, both from the United States.

For the UdeC researcher, this international collaboration was of the "highest scientific standard, with great strictness and close cooperation in the stages of formulation of the idea, preparation of the manuscript and data analysis", he sustains and explains that the idea of the study emerged "about seven years ago, when the other authors got interested in my research related to deforestation in Chile. After publishing a joint paper about land use changes in Chile, we decided to continue the collaboration between the Landscape Ecology Laboratory, LEP, and U. Stanford to answer new scientific questions"

In the same way, the study -which aims to assess the impacts of an incentive to afforestation on carbon sequestration, forest cover and biodiversity- was possible thanks to various sources of financing and information, given that "having classified maps of satellite images was an immense task of the three universities", says Echeverría, adding that they had "financing from various Fondecyt projects and from the LEP's own resources and other funds obtained by the leading author, Robert Heilmayr, during his PhD studies", he details.

Regarding the main scientific conclusions of the recent study, Echeverría details that the increasing establishment of exotic plantations caused "small negative impacts on the total carbon stored in the above-ground biomass. Additionally, the policy produced the substitution of native forests for plantation which resulted in a significant decrease in the richness of species of flora and fauna".

In the researcher's opinion, based on the results of this study, it is possible to "strengthen research in the evaluation of the impact of environmental policies on other components, such as, for example, ecosystem services; evaluating current policies on native forests and other environmental matters; identifying the most critical areas of biodiversity loss for the design of restoration plans. In addition, contributing with new evidence on the future impacts that the NdC (Nationally Determined Contributions) of Chile would have on the design of mitigation measures and adaptation to climate change".

"The reforestation and restoration policies that the country is currently pursuing need to be carefully designed and firmly applied to ensure the protection of natural ecosystems. Such safeguards can improve the benefits of a policy, as well as its impacts on carbon sequestration and biodiversity conservation", states the UdeC academician.
-end-


Universidad de Concepción

Related Climate Change Articles from Brightsurf:

Are climate scientists being too cautious when linking extreme weather to climate change?
Climate science has focused on avoiding false alarms when linking extreme events to climate change.

Mysterious climate change
New research findings underline the crucial role that sea ice throughout the Southern Ocean played for atmospheric CO2 in times of rapid climate change in the past.

Mapping the path of climate change
Predicting a major transition, such as climate change, is extremely difficult, but the probabilistic framework developed by the authors is the first step in identifying the path between a shift in two environmental states.

Small change for climate change: Time to increase research funding to save the world
A new study shows that there is a huge disproportion in the level of funding for social science research into the greatest challenge in combating global warming -- how to get individuals and societies to overcome ingrained human habits to make the changes necessary to mitigate climate change.

Sub-national 'climate clubs' could offer key to combating climate change
'Climate clubs' offering membership for sub-national states, in addition to just countries, could speed up progress towards a globally harmonized climate change policy, which in turn offers a way to achieve stronger climate policies in all countries.

Review of Chinese atmospheric science research over the past 70 years: Climate and climate change
Over the past 70 years since the foundation of the People's Republic of China, Chinese scientists have made great contributions to various fields in the research of atmospheric sciences, which attracted worldwide attention.

A CERN for climate change
In a Perspective article appearing in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Tim Palmer (Oxford University), and Bjorn Stevens (Max Planck Society), critically reflect on the present state of Earth system modelling.

Fairy-wrens change breeding habits to cope with climate change
Warmer temperatures linked to climate change are having a big impact on the breeding habits of one of Australia's most recognisable bird species, according to researchers at The Australian National University (ANU).

Believing in climate change doesn't mean you are preparing for climate change, study finds
Notre Dame researchers found that although coastal homeowners may perceive a worsening of climate change-related hazards, these attitudes are largely unrelated to a homeowner's expectations of actual home damage.

Older forests resist change -- climate change, that is
Older forests in eastern North America are less vulnerable to climate change than younger forests, particularly for carbon storage, timber production, and biodiversity, new research finds.

Read More: Climate Change News and Climate Change Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.