Giving Compass' Take:

• Sustainable forests can be valuable assets in the fight against climate change. Here are the ways that managing forests sustainably can help limit global warming levels. 

• How can donors get involved in funding sustainable forestry? What are the critical needs of this practice?

•  Read about how donors can support conservation.

People committed to sustainability understand that there are many complexities to our global challenges. But one often overlooked fact is how valuable forests are in mitigating climate change. When managed sustainably, working forests actually help slow climate change through carbon sequestration and long-term carbon storage.

The United Nations have even highlighted sustainably managed forests as a principle strategy to help limit global warming to a level that can assure the health of the planet.

Cleaning Carbon from the Air

In the United States, in particular, working forests serve as a substantial carbon sink. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), they store more than 14.8 million tons of carbon a year in trees and wood products. That’s equivalent to offsetting about 16% of fossil fuel emissions annually.

Providing Building Materials with Lower Emissions 

Using wood products from sustainably managed forests for construction generates lower emissions than using steel or concrete. According to one international study published in the Environmental Science & Policy journal, every ton of wood used in construction represents avoided carbon emissions equivalent to 3.9 tons of carbon dioxide.

Setting Sustainability Standards 

How do you know whether a given forest product comes from a sustainable forest? Look for a product label that certifies sourcing and chain of custody to sustainability standards. One organization that provides such certification is the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). SFI’s Standards advance sustainable forestry and responsible purchasing globally through certification standards and certified products.

Read the full article about sustainable forests from Sustainable Forestry Initiative at TreeHugger.