Restoration of grasslands and forests for climate change mitigation and adaptation, and the promotion of ecosystem services

  • 01/12/2013
  • FAO

Forests and grasslands cover 57.5 percent (2,008.9 million hectares) of the land surface in the Asia-Pacific region and provide vital ecosystem services (e.g., water and climate regulation) in support of agriculture, food security and nutrition. Furthermore, these lands offer vast potential to contribute to climate change adaptation by ensuring long-term contributions to community resilience, livelihoods and poverty alleviation, at the same time capturing mitigation benefits through carbon sequestration. However, this potential is constrained by practices that degrade the land and water systems upon which food production ultimately depends. Degradation of Asian grasslands, for example, is estimated to be occurring at a rate of more than 2 million hectares per year, while the cumulative area of degraded forestlands potentially available for restoration in the region is estimated at more than 400 million hectares. This paper discusses various measures to achieve environmentally sound, economically viable and socially acceptable management of grasslands and forests that restore and enhance their productive capacities (to produce food, timber, fuel, non-wood forest products and ecosystem services) in support of food security and livelihoods, while at the same time contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation.

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