Innovation Future Specialist

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Forest Solutions for the 21st Century

Developed by Dr Adam Bostock, in 2019.

The mission, should you choose to accept it, is to address the following aspects:

» Ecosystem degradation and the loss of species

» Carbon dioxide levels and climate change

» An urgent need for sustainable forests, and new forests

(Click to show more about the challenge and benefits ↓)

Globally, forests provide valuable ecosystems for thousands of species, and play an important role in regulating levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere - a vital part of the solution to climate change. Worldwide, 300 million people live in forests and 1.6 billion depend on them for their livelihoods.

However, forests are being destroyed at alarming rates: over 18 million acres of forests are lost annually! Forests are destroyed by fires, and for agriculture, ranching, development, and timber. Trees are used to produce timber products, and pulp for paper and card; and a similar quantity is used as firewood. [Over one billion people do not have access to electricity. If they did then the need for firewood would be greatly reduced. It is hoped that the forthcoming XPRIZE for energy will find solutions to this.]

Human activities are simultaneously increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, destroying the forests that remove this gas, and burning large quantities of firewood. This is serious stuff: climate change is taking place at a rate faster than the natural world and humans can cope with.

The IPCC reports that: our net global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) need to fall by about 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching zero by around 2050. This means that any remaining emissions would need to be balanced by removing CO2 from the air.

The protection and the growth of existing, and new, forests can help to remove CO2. However, even fast growing trees take decades before they reach maturity, and hardwood trees grow much slower. This means that planting billions of tree seeds, while continuing with conventional and "sustainable" logging, might not be sufficient to achieve the urgent deadline - in just 11 years [from 2019].

You would probably expect people to take the urgent 11 year deadline seriously. Some do. So here is a set of solutions...

Click the Next button to progress through these pages.

This topic includes the following:

» Future Forest Solutions

» Forest Innovations

» Forest Challenge


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