New study warns damage to forests from climate change could cost the planet its major keeper of greenhouse gases

New York (17 April 2009) –The critical role of forests as massive "sinks" for absorbing greenhouse gases is "at risk of being lost entirely" to climate change-induced environmental stresses that threaten to damage and even decimate forests worldwide, according to a new report released today. The report will be formally presented at the next session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) taking place 20 April-1 May 2009 at the UN Headquarters in New York City.

"Adaptation of Forests and People to Climate Change – A Global Assessment" was coordinated by the Vienna-based International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) through the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), an alliance of 14 international organizations that each has substantial forestry programs.

Authored by 35 of the world’s top forestry scientists, it provides the first global assessment to date of the ability of forests to adapt to climate change and is expected to play a key role in next week’s UNFF discussions. The report presents the state of scientific knowledge regarding the current and projected future impacts of climate change on forests and people along with options for adaptation.

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