Thursday, December 07, 2017

Sabah forests can halt climate change

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah could double its carbon stock and play an important role in controlling climate change if previously logged forests are allowed to regenerate.

A study carried out by several agencies, including the Carnegie Airborne Observatory (CAO) in collaboration with the Sabah Forestry Department and other institutions, showed that about 40% of Sabah’s carbon stock exists in forests that are not designated for maximum protection.

Carbon stock refers to the amount of carbon stored in a forest, including biomass and soil. Carbon is a key component of all life, animal and plant alike.

Sabah Forestry Department director Datuk Sam Mannan, who is also the chief conservator of forests, said this finding followed new remote sensing and satellite mapping data by CAO’s Greg Asner and his colleagues that was recently published in the journal Biological Conservation.

Asner said in a statement that his team found about 40% of Sabah’s carbon stock is contained in forests “that are not protected at the highest designation”.

“We also discovered that Sabah could double its carbon stock by allowing previously logged forests to regenerate, a process that could take about a century,” he added.

In addition to finding 50 of the tallest tropical trees ever measured, the CAO team also pinpointed important targets for conservation efforts.

Asner said a high carbon stock is important because tropical forests like those in Sabah convert large quantities of atmospheric carbon (in the form of carbon dioxide) into organic material.

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: Sabah forests can halt climate change