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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Anastassia Makarieva Speaks About the role of Forests in Protecting Earth's Climate


Anastassia Makarieva in a recent talk recommendsed the preservation of the natural forest holobiont:

International climate discourse mentions forests in two contexts: as carbon deposits and as renewable sources of materials and energy.

If implemented in global policies, this narrow view on forests can, contrary to expectations, worsen climate destabilization. Two crucial aspects are undervalued and understudied.

The first is the major role of forests as regulators of the various aspects of the water cycle, including cloud cover (a major source of climate uncertainties) and ocean-to-land and transcontinental transport of atmospheric moisture.

The second is the difference in the environmental functions of primary forests, largely unperturbed by anthropogenic activities, versus exploited tree stands. While the former have evolved to maximize environmental homeostasis, the latter were selected to maximize economic productivity. The two cannot be maximized simultaneously.

Successful strategies of climate change mitigation should prioritize preservation of still extant self-sustainable natural forests for humanity to continue benefiting from their climate stabilization potential.


  1. Hello Ugo,
    Many people don't see the forest for the trees, as the saying goes.
    For most people any collection of trees is a "forest", which is not true from an ecologic point of view. Most trees in Europe are in "plantations" which is something different.

    Forests need a multitude of species of plants and insects and fungi. Undisturbed soils for decades. Trees of all ages. Diversity.

    Plantations are monocultures of single-specie single-age trees.

    Unfortunately, the wood/paper industry has been very successful in promoting plantations as "forests" in advertisements and other propaganda, so most people think that all trees are equal.

    What they don't know is than some trees are more equal than others... ;)

    I love trees. Both in plantations and in forests. But I never mix the two.

    The best method I have found, to build semi-natural forests was developed in Germany in the 1940s and popularized by the Japanese forestry man dr. Miyawaki who learned it there and propagated it throughout Asia. Since 2010, an Indian man Shubhendu Sharma has been promoting this as the "afforestt"-method for "Tiny Forest", with a great TED talk. Excellent for eco-modernists who think that forests are built like cars. Cutting through the noise, the idea is to plant mixed high-density forests based on local tree seeds. The trees and shrubs look great already after a couple of years, but the recovery of the soil is much slower.

    And even better is of course to not destroy the remnants of our original forests. How come we (humanity) have not been able to allocate enough money to owners to protect forests?


  2. Dear Ugo,
    Unfortunately, I could not find any presentation on the link to TUM, nor on youtuub. Have you seen the presentation? Do you know if it is available somewhere?
    I am always curious to learn more about forests...

  3. Here is a link to the presentation: