Adaptation Leader: Bruno Locatelli on the Importance of Climate Adaptation Finance For Forests

14 November 2013

Editor's note: Acclimatise spoke to Bruno Locatelli, environmental scientist at CIRAD and CIFOR, who speaks of the emerging understanding about the importance of climate change adaptation for forest ecosystems. Bruno explains that the relationship between climate adaptation and forests is unusual as work is needed both to adapt forest ecosystems to climate change while at the same time recognising that forests themselves provide climate resilience benefits to the communities that rely on them. Here Bruno calls for more funding for climate adaptation projects, and warns that without careful planning, forest projects aimed at cutting carbon emissions may adversely make communities less resilient to climate impacts.

There is a well-established link between the role of forests and climate change mitigation, but what role do forests have to play in terms of adapting to climate change?

Indeed, forests have for long been recognised for their role in global climate change mitigation, through their capacity to capture and sequester carbon from the atmosphere. Deforestation has been identified as a major source of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and proposed mitigation measures have included avoided deforestation. However, forests provide multiple ecosystem services beyond carbon sequestration and many of them are relevant to adaptation, but the link between forests and adaptation has received less attention than the link between forests and mitigation.

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