Forests

The natural world has multiple, sometimes conflicting, sometimes synergistic, values to society when viewed through the lens of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Spatial mapping of nature's contributions to the SDGs has the potential to support the implementation of SDG strategies through sustainable land management and conservation of ecosystem services. Such mapping requires a range of spatial data.
This book chapter advances SDG 15 by presenting the major positive and negative attributes of wood before moving onto a review of the field of biodeterioration and its relation to its origins from Forest Pathology. The roles of various researchers in understanding the nature of deterioration are reviewed to provide context then common terminology related to degradation is reviewed.
Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicator 15.1.1 proposes to quantify “Forest area as a proportion of total land area” in order to achieve SDG target 15.1. While area under forest cover can provide useful information regarding discrete changes in forest cover, it does not provide any insight on subtle changes within the broad vegetation class, e.g. forest degradation. Continental or national-level studies, mostly utilizing coarse-scale satellite data, are likely to fail in capturing these changes due to the fine spatial and long temporal characteristics of forest degradation.
In this study, we use a new type of satellite data looking at vegetation water and photosynthesis to compare the success of different reforestation methods, using China's Three-North Shelterbelt Program as a case study.
A new threat now confronts the Amazon in the form of a massive infrastructure program, the Initiative for the Integration of the Regional Infrastructure of South America, or IIRSA. This article presents results of a projection analysis showing that IIRSA could push the Amazonian forest past a “tipping point,” replacing it with tropical savanna. Such an event would degrade biodiversity, reduce carbon storage, and harm continental agriculture, dependent on moisture transport from forest-based rainfall recycling.
Conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services in natural environments requires careful management choices. However, common methods of evaluating the impact of conservation interventions can have contextual shortcomings. Here, we make a call for counterfactual thinking—asking the question “what would have happened in the absence of an intervention?”—with the support of rigorous evaluation approaches and more thoughtful consideration of human dimensions and behavior.
Rising demand for renewable resources has increased silage maize (Zea mays L.)production characterized by intensive soil management, high fertilizer and pesticide inputs as well as simplified crop rotations. Advantages of renewable biomass production may thus be cancelled out by adverse environmental effects. Perennial crops, like cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum L.), are said to benefit arthropods. Substituting silage maize could hence increase biodiversity and foster ecosystem services.
Elsevier,

Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Volume 34, October 2018, Pages 33-42.

This article contributes to goal 15 by arguing that the SDG portfolio can trigger a major step towards more holistic land use perspectives at the agriculture-forestry interface. This, in turn, has the potential to initiate institutional change to enhance dynamic sustainability.
Elsevier, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Volume 34, October 2018
The transformational potential of Agenda 2030 lies in the synergies to be found among the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs were designed to be interdependent, requiring enhanced policy coherence for sustainable development, and forests have a prominent role to play in their success.
Elsevier, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Volume 33, August 2018
Efforts to protect nature are facing a growing crisis, one that often revolves around the burgeoning impacts of roads and other infrastructure on biodiversity and ecosystems. Potential solutions are possible but they will involve serious trade-offs and the confrontation of deep misconceptions. Here, I identify some time-critical tactics to aid scientists in informing and influencing the global infrastructure debate.

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