Adaptation of Forests to Climate Change

Policy makers have repeatedly stated a need for more complete scientific information on the ecological, social and economic impacts of climate change on forests and people to support management and policy decisions.

They recommended making adaptation of forests to climate change the subject of the first scientific assessment of GFEP. Accordingly, an Expert Panel on Adaptation of Forests to Climate Change was formed by the GFEP Steering Committee in late 2007 to carry out this assessment. View the Terms of Reference of the Expert Panel.

The Expert Panel consisted of 37 scientists with outstanding scientific expertise on issues related to forests and adaptation and is chaired by Professor Risto Seppälä. About the same number of scientists contributed to the assessment as reviewers. The Panel members and the reviewers were selected with a view to achieving the best possible coverage and balance in terms of areas of expertise, regions, gender and cultural diversity.

Their voluntary collaboration between February 2008 and 2009 resulted in a most comprehensive assessment regarding

  • the interrelations among forest ecosystems, the services they provide, and climate change
  • the past and future impacts of climate change on forest ecosystems and the people that depend on these ecosystems
  • management and policy options for adaptation.

The assessment report "Adaptation of Forests and People to Climate Change – A Global Assessment Report" and a policy brief were published officially at the 8th session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF).

The report is the first product of the Global Forest Expert Panels of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) and presents the state-of-knowledge about the impacts of climate change on forests and people and options for adaptation.

The report as well as a policy brief (available in all UN languages) can be downloaded at: