IntAct: International Action for Primary Forests
Collaboration and innovation are essential to safeguard Earth’s remaining areas of intact, wild nature so that these areas continue to provide “ecosystem services” …essential life support…that helps ensure the health and resilience of all life on earth. Forests in particular are under siege around the world from an unprecedented wave of industrial activity including logging, road building, oil and gas extraction, mining and industrial agriculture. In the last twelve years alone, we have lost 230 million hectares of forest – an area larger than Greenland.
Common-sense – and a substantial body of scientific study – tells us that not all areas are the same in their biological or cultural significance. Primary forests (old growth or otherwise intact forest ecosystems and habitat) provide the best values in terms of biodiversity, climate change mitigation and adaptation, cultural protection, water flow and regulation – and many other vital ecosystem services. It is critical to prioritize protection of primary forests. Unfortunately we continue to lose primary forests at a rate of 10-13 million hectares per year – despite decades of attempts, the fact is that we still have not succeeded in making industrial logging and other industrial activities sustainable in primary forests
Recognizing this, a group of international experts met at WILD10 (Salamanca, Spain, October, 2013) to address the implications and impacts of extractive industries on our rapidly diminishing global estate of primary forests and to discuss necessary actions to safeguard these forests. Excellent progress was achieved in Salamanca, follow up meetings were held in London in May of 2014, and a plan was generated for a global primary forests initiative.
- Prospects for Sustainable Logging in Tropical Forests – Zimmerman and Kormos, 2012
- Policy Options for the World’s Primary Forests in Multilateral Environmental Agreements – Mackey, DellaSala, Kormos, Lindenmayer, Kumpel, Zimmerman, Hugh, Young, Foley, Arsenis & Watson, 2014
- Who Will Save the Last Primary Forests on Earth? – Mackey & Watson, NatGeo NewsWatch, 2014