Forest sector carbon management, measurement and verification, and discussion of policy related to mitigation and adaptation of forests to climate change
The objective of this review is to give ecologists, land managers and policy makers a better understanding of important issues related to forest sector carbon management, measurement and verification, as well as policy related to mitigation and the adaptation of forests to climate change. The focus is on carbon sequestration processes, appropriate measurements for international, regional and local scale assessment of net ecosystem carbon balance, and life cycle analysis with special attention given to the concept of substitution of fossil fuel with bioenergy from forests. Given the slow dynamic of forest carbon, life cycle analysis needs to account for pre-existing forest conditions, since carbon neutrality (i.e., net ecosystem carbon balance of forests is zero) can take at least a century to achieve in many cases. The substitution of wood for more energy-intensive materials has probably been overestimated compared with case in which additionality, permanence and saturation of wood building stores are considered. GHG emission policies will need to account for emissions associated with bioenergy, which is currently not considered internationally. Thus, GHG emissions resulting from substitution for fossil fuels will have to be more accurately represented if their true impact is to be understood.