Institute for Environmental Security
Advancing Global Environmental Security through
Science · Diplomacy · Law · Finance · Education
Climate and Forests:
The Case for Action Now
Side event at United Nations Climate Change Conference
Nairobi 2006 Wednesday, 15 November, 11:15-12:45
Acacia Room, ICRAF
Organised by the Institute for Environmental Security with GLOBE and INECE
Supported by Pro-Natura International, Counterpart International and Action for a Global Climate Community
New evidence from the Amazon demonstrates the emerging scientific understanding of the interaction between climate change and deforestation and strengthens the case for bringing LULUCF projects into UNFCCC mechanisms.
"Envirosecurity Assessments - Protecting and Managing the Natural Resource Base: The role of remote sensing earth observation" IES – SarVision powerpoint presentation
“Amazonia and Climate" by Dr. Antonio Donato Nobre, Senior Researcher, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas na Amazonias (INPA)
“Climate and forests: the case for action now” by Professor Ian Swingland, Chief Scientist, Sustainable Forestry Management
Background Paper 1:
"The role of forests in global climate change: whence we come and where we go"
by Charlotte Streck and Sebatian M. Scholz
Background Paper 2:
"Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change"
by Sir Nicholas Stern
About this event
Dr Antonio Donato Nobre, of Brazil's National Institute of Amazonian Research, will discuss research that reveals an extraordinary ‘green ocean’ in the Amazon, that conditions rainfall and climate much beyond any former scientific expectation. The proper functioning of this green ocean reveals itself to be a key in keeping part of South America that lies beyond the borders of the Amazon sufficiently wet. Recent unpublished climate simulation studies conducted in Brazil and the USA suggest a much bigger role for the forest. The hot, wet Amazon normally evaporates vast amounts of water, which rise high into the air as if in an invisible chimney. This draws in the wet North-East trade winds, which have picked up moisture from the Atlantic. This in turn controls the temperature of the ocean. As the trade winds pick up the moisture, the warm water that is left gets relatively cooler. Deforestation disrupts the cycle by weakening the Amazonian evaporation which is the main driver of the whole process. One result is that the hot water in the Atlantic stays on the surface and fuels hurricanes. Another damaging effect is that hot water in the Atlantic produces updrafts there, which are matched by downdrafts in the Amazon, generating the intense drought in the forest seen in 2005.
The Institute’s mission is to “Advance global environmental security by promoting the maintenance of the regenerative capacity of life-supporting eco-systems”. We integrate our efforts across the fields of science, diplomacy, law, finance and education. We have conducted EnviroSecurity Assessments in the Matavén Forest in Amazonia, in Central Kalimantan in Borneo and in Virunga-Bwindi in the Great Lakes area. These activities make us very aware of the reality of deforestation and its impact on the global climate. Deforestation by fire in Kalimantan causes emissions in the same order of magnitude as the global Kyoto target! We are devoting our energies to a campaign in Nairobi to allow avoided deforestation to qualify for carbon credits. The recently published Stern Report emphasises the need to speed up global political processes dramatically. Nowhere is this more urgent than in the case of Avoided Deforestation. Speakers from our co-organisers, GLOBE and INECE, stressed what needs to be done to ensure that such a step can have real impact rapidly.