Download Forest certification in sustainable development : healing by Chris Maser; Walter Smith PDF

By Chris Maser; Walter Smith

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Extra resources for Forest certification in sustainable development : healing the landscape

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This is a critical concept, because forests migrate as interactive aboveground–belowground communities of symbiotic plants and animals. To allow forests to migrate in the face of global climate change, as they have for millennia, we must emphasize diversity in all of its aspects, which in turn will do much to ensure the resilience and sustainability of forests, the underpinning of sustainable forestry. We also must pay close attention to the patterns we create on the landscape, because the overall connectivity of those patterns will either allow or inhibit the ability of species and forests to migrate and will determine how much of the genetic variability — stored adaptability — we lose from the gene pool in the “secret extinctions” that accompany the fragmentation of forests and landscapes.

Redundancy means that the loss of a species or two is not likely to result in such severe functional disruptions of the ecosystem as to cause its collapse because other species can make up for the functional loss. But there comes a point, a threshold, when the loss of one or two more species will tip the balance and cause the system to begin an irreversible change that may well signal a decline in quality or productivity with respect to our human desires. Each ecosystem contains built-in redundancies that give it the resilience to either resist change or bounce back after disturbance, but we don’t know which species do what or the way in which they do it.

We are reversing the rich building process of that diversity, complexity, and stability by replacing forests with 15 L1510/frame/C01 Page 16 Thursday, August 17, 2000 3:02 PM 16 Ⅲ Forest Certification in Sustainable Development: Healing the Landscape tree farms designed only with narrow, short-term, economic considerations. Every acre on which a forest is replaced with a tree farm is an acre that is purposely stripped of its biological, genetic, and functional diversity, its ecological sustainability, and is reduced to the lowest common denominator — simplistic economics.

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