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Tropical Forest conservation and management under a changing climate

Short title: Tropical Forest management under climate change

Chairs: Dr. Meley Mekonen Rannestad, Dr. Aster Gebrekirstos, Dr. Yennie Katarina Bredin, (Dr.) Thomas Luypaert

Contact: meley.araya@nmbu.no

Climate change is predicted to drive regional climate disruption and instability across the world, increasingly threatening global biodiversity, and ecosystem service delivery. Tropical forests, which makeup just under half of the world's forests (45%) and harbor more than half of Earth’s terrestrial biodiversity are particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts. On the other hand, climate change driven demands for tropical forest land and ecosystem services are increasing with increasing conflict with each other. Given their significance as both sources and sinks of CO2, conservation of tropical forests through mechanisms such as the REDD+ has been globally recognized as a cheap and quick climate change mitigation option with various co-benefits, including biodiversity conservation. Whereas meeting climate change adaptation and other demands such as domestic energy needs require utilization of different forest products and services. Making management decisions to meet these conflicting demands for tropical forest ecosystems while addressing the problems of climate change and other environmental changes such as land use and habitat changes, and subsequent loss of important ecosystem services is complex. The implementation of forest policies at multiple levels (global, national, and local) extends the complexity of the problem. Consequently, there is a growing demand for tools that enable optimal decisions related to sustainable management vs conservation of tropical forest land and resources given the complexity of the above-mentioned problems. The goal of this session is therefore to bring together scientists working with climate change and its implications for tropical forest management to share recent insights.

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