Category Archives: Florest

Experiment in Amazonia becomes global model for research

17By Frances Jones
Agência FAPESP – A scientific project begun 35 years ago in the heart of the Amazon Forest is bearing fruit around the globe. A million-dollar experiment developed by an international team on the island of Borneo in Asia is the most recent study to replicate and expand upon the Dynamic Biological Project on Forest Fragments (PDBFF), the result of cooperation between the National Institute of Amazon Research (Inpa) and the Smithsonian Institution.
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The local impacts of oil palm expansion in Malasya

BiodieslThis study is part of a broader research process assessing the local economic, social and environmental impacts from feedstock expansion for the growing biofuel sector. Nonetheless, in the Malaysian context, biofuel production volumes are negligible despite government interest in romoting sector expansion.
Since Malaysia is the second largest palm oil producer in the world, palm oil is slated to become the primary feedstock for biofuel production in the country. Since palm oil consistently outperforms all other substitute vegetable oils on price, it is also becoming an important feedstock globally. While a rapidly growing global biofuel sector could develop into an important new market outlet for Malaysia, it does carry a number of risks. This paper aims to reflect on these risks by exploring the local social and land-use impacts of oil palm in the Beluran District of Sabah State. This is based on household surveys to discover the perception of impacts among relevant local stakeholder groups, and remote-sensing analysis. While the impacts of oil palm in the study site cannot be attributed to the biodiesel industry per se, lessons learnt will be directly applicable to the biodiesel sector in Malaysia, and relevant for the whole Southeast Asia region.

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Korea a role model for land reforestation

51The Korean Herald – Forestation is important to every country, as green spaces give people a number of benefits, such as clean air, food and medicinal resources, and increased biodiversity, as well as carbon dioxide absorption and water source protection. Korea has worked to green up its open spaces for the past 40 years and its reforestation policy has been looked on as a benchmark for countries seeking rapid reforestation… >>Continue reading<<

Source and Photo: The Korea Herald, 21st March, 2013
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Forest ecology: Splinters of the Amazon

42_AmazonBy Jeff Tollefson
Nature – Ecologist Thomas Lovejoy tucks his trousers into his socks with a casual warning about chiggers and then hikes off into the Amazon jungle. Shaded by a tall canopy and dense with ferns and underbrush, the old-growth forest looks healthy, but Lovejoy knows better. Three decades ago, the surrounding forest was mowed down and torched as part of a research project, and the effects have spread like a cancer deep into the uncut area. Large trees have perished. The spider monkeys have moved out, as have the army-ant colonies, and many of the birds that depend on them.

Click here to access the complete article at Nature
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Why action on forests now is essential to all our futures

acacia tree saplingBy Bharrat Jagdeo
The Guardian – While forests once provided subsistence for local people, for generations clearing forested land has also been good for global business, providing immediate food security for the world. Put simply, forests have been worth more dead than alive.

As populations grow, emerging and industrialised countries are looking to the three great world forest regions – the Three Basins of the Congo, the Amazon and south-east Asia – for their growing resource needs. The economic imperative to acquire and clear more land increases daily as demand for food and commodities grows. More than half of the global forest loss has occurred in the Three Basins. But world food production needs standing forests not felled trees.

Click here to access the complete article at The Guardian
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Palm Monoculture Bad for Birds

Palm_Oil_ForestBy Andrew M. Sugden

Science – The conversion of tropical forest to oil palm plantations has rapidly increased over the past decade, predominantly in Southeast Asia, where such cultivation now dominates over 2 million hectares. Substantial biodiversity loss accompanies such conversion, but little is known of the ecology of the resulting landscape. Azhar et al.’s survey of bird faunas in plantations and logged swamp forest in Malaysia shows that guilds were affected in different ways. Notably, raptors were more abundant in plantations than in logged forest, whereas the reverse was true for insectivores and granivores. Patterns within plantations were also influenced by the management regime (e.g., smallholding versus estate) and proximity to forest. Edwards et al. surveyed the functional diversity—a measure incorporating foraging, morphology, and behavior—of bird faunas across habitat gradients (from plantation to logged and primary forests) in Borneo. Functional diversity was similar between logged and primary forest but greatly reduced in plantations, with just a few generalist species filling a wide range of functional roles. These studies demonstrate that continued conversion from logged forest to oil palm plantation will lead to further losses of species and functional diversity.

Source: Science, 3th May, 2013
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How agroforestry schemes can improve food security in developing countries

ForestBy Caspar van Vark
The Guardian – Agroforesty – the integration of trees and shrubs with crops and livestock systems – has strong potential in addressing problems of food insecurity in developing countries. Done well, it allows producers to make the best use of their land, can boost field crop yields, diversify income, and increase resilience to climate change.

To date, the uptake of agroforestry has been constrained partly because it has lacked a natural ‘home’ in policy space, but that may be changing thanks to a growing body of evidence of what it can achieve, and how to make it work. The FAO last month published a guide to advancing agroforestry on the policy agenda with case studies of best practice, and is due to hold a conference on forests and food security and nutrition in May.

Click here to access the complete article at The Guardian
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