Future of Forests – Dramatic Impacts of Climate Change

Falling Walls Circle Tables are lending the spotlight to world-leading scientists, science strategists and policy-makers from academia, business and politics discuss how we can apply science, research and innovation to get the world moving again.

In this Falling Walls Circle Table, the panel discusses the many threats facing the future of forests, and what we can do to protect the world’s Forests from our changing climate. As Marcus Lindner explains, “we can’t plan for certainty for the future. We always have to expect surprises.”

Forests provide many invaluable services, from ecosystems to carbon sinks. These are under threat, as forests are already facing increasing hazards, whether that’s through drought, fire, or spreading pests. Where once these could be seen as unexpected incidents, such challenges for the future of forests are increasingly considered inevitable.

Forests are incredibly diverse, so there can be no ‘one size fits all’ solution. In general, strategies must help forests recover after challenges, but also build in resilience. This ranges from thinning trees to provide better short term resistance to careful long term introduction of new species. Such strategies may mean shifting the motivation of forestry, so that it places as much value on forests’ many services and the future on forests as it does on wood production.