About cool forests

 

Q: WHAT ARE COOL FORESTS?

A: Boreal and mountain forests developed in the regions of cold climate over many thousands of years. They make up more than one third of global forests, forming the largest terrestrial vegetation ecosystem. They are found from the circumpolar belt in the northern hemisphere to high-elevation forests spread over the entire planet. Forests on permafrost show many similarities in the boreal and high mountain ecozones – especially with respect to species and growth patterns, and in response to climate exposure.

Q: WHY ARE COOL FORESTS SO IMPORTANT?

A: Cool forests store as much carbon per hectare as tropical forests and they deliver much of the world’s harvested wood products including, timber, pulp, and paper. They are home to unique landscape and nature diversity, providing ecosystem services, crucial for the livelihoods of millions of people.

Q: WHY ARE COOL FORESTS AT RISK?

A: The full impact of current social, economic, environmental, and technological changes on Cool Forests is uncertain. As climate change bites and temperatures rise, the permafrost could thaw, resulting in a huge release of greenhouse gases which will further accelerate climate change. Permafrost thawing in the mountains has already caused landslides, rock falls, and mudflows i.e. in densely populated areas of the Alps. 

If we fail to protect Cool Forests an entire economic sector which depends on its resources and provides the livelihood of many people is at risk of collapse. Additionally, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement will become out of reach.