Forests and Climate Change
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This event was on Thurs 26th March 2009, 7pm-8.30pm, Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR
Chaired by Paul Rose, explorer, television presenter and expedition leader.
The world's forests are home to an extraordinary range of species, and are arguably one of our greatest safeguards against climate change. Yet deforestation, whether for timber, farming or human settlement, continues at an alarming rate.
Dr. Mika Peck, University of Sussex
What are the impacts of climate change on the cloudforests of north-west Ecuador? Are existing reserves in one of the richest and most diverse of all biodiversity hotspots big enough to protect large charismatic mammals like the spectacled bear and big cats? How much do carbon offset programmes really benefit wildlife? Can technology such as Google Earth help us to identify canopy tree species and biologically diverse areas from space? These are just some of the questions that will be addressed during this lecture, which is based on data collected by Earthwatch volunteers in the mountains of Ecuador.
Dr. Dan Bebber, Earthwatch Institute
The concept of a virgin forest, untouched by the hand of man, is a fairy-tale. All the world's forests are affected, to varying degrees, by human activities. Though many of us come no closer to forest products than the morning paper, billions around the world rely on forests directly for timber, fuel, food, medicines, and other benefits. As the climate changes, partly due to deforestation, the benefits we derive from forests may be threatened. The Earthwatch forest research programme, part of the HSBC Climate Partnership, will help us to determine how forests can be better managed in an uncertain future. Hear about our work in the forests of China, Europe, India, Latin America and North America.
Listen again to the latest Earthwatch lecture 'Forests and Climate Change'
Dr Dan Bebber, Head of Climate Change research at Earthwatch introduces 'the footprint in the forest' – the impact of human civilisation on the world's forests. Check out Dan’s talk here:
Dr Mika Peck, lead scientist on Earthwatch expedition 'Climate change, canopies and wildlife' shares his experiences of working in Ecuador's spectacular cloud forests and explains how he is using technology such as camera traps and aerial photography to gain a unique insight into this fascinating ecosystem.