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Lecture 10

FOR201H1 Lecture 10: Lecture 10 - Justina Ray International Policy

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University of Toronto St. George
Sean Thomas

Lecture 8: Global Policies for Conservation of Tropical Forests and Biodiversity Today’s Lecture • Global environmental policy • How does this differentiate from National policies? • Historical perspective • Global agreements on forests • Global agreements on biodiversity Local Problems - Global Commons • Evolution of local problems to global commons • We think locally, and try to solve problems locally, but really we share so many aspects of environment as a common upon which we draw as individuals and nations • In order to not overdraw, need to cooperate • Need to think more about just ourselves • This is why we need global policies and global cooperation even though we’re divided into different nations • This idea originated in the 1970s • Degradation that was happening on the global environment first began to be noticed Background: Timeline • 1972: Singularly significant event • Stockholm UN conference on sustainable development • First time “sustainable development” term was used • Came upon realization that environmental degradation was from economic growth • Thinking about how economic growth affects environment • Resulted in Stockholm declaration: • Among 26 principles that were agreed upon by various nations gathered at this conference, the top 5 were environmental issues, species problems • United Nations Environment Programme • Before this environment not included by UN • UNEP now exists and has a lot of programs meant to promote wise use of planet’s assets sustainably • Maurice Strong o First director of UNEP o Canadian o Controversial: Emphasized population control • But was very committed and an effective leader at beginning of the movement • 1987: Brundtland Report: “Our Common Future” • Talked about common future of planet and sustainability • Response to conflict between environment and development • 1992: Rio conference • Canada under Brian Mulroney was the first signer of the agreement (even though was conservative government) • UNCED o Produced first convention on climate change and on biodiversity o Term biodiversity was coined at that time o Life on earth as we know it • Not just species (also habitats that are interconnected) • Agenda 21 • Action plan for developing planet sustainably • Broad statement of principles for protecting forests • Rio Declaration = non-binding statement of 27 broad principles for environmental policy • 2002: Celebration of 1992 summit • 10-year anniversaries of 1972 and 1992 that kick-started environmental policies and nations working together on environmental management Multilateral Environmental Agreements • Over 500 in the world • Commitments by countries to meet certain environmental objectives • Country takes agreement and then ratify it in country through legislation • Governed by international law • Nations that sign are expected to uphold agreement • These are predominantly produced by the UN • UN allows for multi-lateral agreements • Can be called different things: • Treaties, conventions, agreements • Canada has a few treaties • Treaty on migratory birds • In early 1900s birds were being over-hunted for plumage for lady’s hats in Europe • Formulated between US and Canada as cooperative means to stop this Soft Law Instruments • No clear distinction between multilateral agreements but these are more where people/countries get together to make action plans and agree in principle in things • But often actions not legally bound (so no action, just talk) • Good that they’re talking but need action Global Environmental Governance • Proliferation of many agreements • Many agreements on various and sundry things • Some nation-nation (or more), some are global • UN itself has over 30 agencies and programs • = huge institution in charge of stewarding these various agreements • Also spawning of major institutions • World Bank • World Trade Organization • All claim that sustainable development is important to them • Also increase of civil society organizations that specialize in various dimensions of the problems we have • So not just governments but also NGOs • Environmental stuff used to be talked about in isolation • But now, is being talked about along with poverty, industrialisation • Become being more complicated • Increasing buy-in to concept of sustainable development • But have to be careful about definitions of “sustainable development” • There is a dance in terms of how much priority environment is getting depending on which organizations/treaties are involved Tropical Forests Estimated Deforestation by Type + Time • Difference in time lines between temperate and tropical forests • In 1700s, the main deforestation occurred in Europe and Africa • Where most people were • Tropical deforestation has only recently become a problem • So a lot of policy has been directed at tropical forests Change dynamics in forest area • Red areas = where there has been most deforestation in the last decade • Most loss is in tropical forests Large Scale Conversion • Oil palm in Sarawak Slide • Shifting cultivation Slide • Deforestation drivers • If look at different between Africa and Latin America, and Asia • Commercial agriculture (+ livestock) is the most important driver of deforestation in Latin America • In Africa and Asia, agriculture less important • Are some significant differences • But also degradation • Cutting and fragmentation occurring and other types of deforestation • Timber logging • More selective logging in tropical forests but definitely contributes to degradation because of roads in forest, and hunting along woods • Take home: Drivers of forest degradation are different from deforestation Intact Forests • Also look at where the most intact forests *resemble where they were historically) in the world • Dark green = most intact areas that have not been degraded so much • Red = intact forests have been degraded and compromised in size • In 13 years have seen 15.5% loss in central america, ~6% loss in South America, 10% loss in Africa • Significantly more loss than seen in temperate zone International Policy on Forests • Doesn’t really exist • No really policy that are devoted to forests • In Rio 1992, had intention for forest agreement • Turned into something that didn’t last • Forest convention didn’t take off at first in Rio • Today global forest is really degraded • UN has had a forum on forests • Has had various Major Multi-lateral Agreements related to Tropical Forests [1] UN Framework on Climate Change [2] UN Convention on Biological Diversity [3] United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification [4] International Tropical Trade Agreement United Nations Framework on Climate Change • Paris agreement and Kyoto signify the city in which nations met • Nations agree to milestones and move forward • Many people consider Paris agreement in 2015 as significant but don’t know what it’ll actually look like • Relates to forests in a few ways: • Deforestation is recognized as source of emissions • So not just CO2 directly pumped into air, but also deforestation • When we remove living biomass containing carbon, that is a source of emissions • Standing forests are recognized as reservoirs for storing carbon and can be seen as sinks • UN doesn’t measure degradation so have to actually measure things The Global Carbon Budget • Flux: • What causes emissions, and what negates emissions • Land, atmosphere and oceans are significant for carbon equations Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry • 2 aspects: • [1] Land use change • Accounting system that has all the nations accounting for
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