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IUFRO Press Release

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.

"We normally think of forests as putting the brakes on global warming, but in fact over
the next few decades, damage induced by climate change could cause forests to
release huge quantities of carbon and create a situation in which they do more to
accelerate warming than to slow it down," said Risto Seppälä, a professor at the Finnish
Forest Research Institute (Metla) and Immediate Past President of IUFRO, who chaired
the expert panel that produced the report.

full press release:

[English – PDF, 60 KB]  [French – PDF, 80 KB]  [Spanish – PDF, 85 KB] [German – PDF, 100 KB]  [Finnish – PDF, 75 KB]

For more information, please contact:

Megan Dold: +1 301 280 5720 or mdold(at)
Alexander Buck: +43 1 877 0151 13 or buck(at)

Online resources:
The full report "Adaptation of Forests and People to Climate Change – A Global Assessment Report" can be downloaded at:

The policy brief "Making forests fit for climate change" can be downloaded at:

Press information is available at:

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