Ecological and Environmental Change Research Group


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Over 1000 biologists engage in the debate!

Many from BIO and from around the world are involved in the debate that developed as a response to a report recently published by the Norwegian Environment Ministry concerning the proposed planting of new forests, especially the fast-growing Sitka spruce, as a climate change mitigation measure.


According to the report, the initiative would generate new forests capable of taking up and storing CO2. Over 1000 signed a petition protesting this initiative. Professor Vigdis Vandvik says that a number of those responding are environmental scientists. Several came from abroad. One even came from New Zealand! 

The deadline for comments to the Consultation Paper was 30.10.13. Vandvik has written an expert opinion document that was submitted on behalf of the Department of Biology.

The issue, explains Vandvik, is complex. Politicians might like to have things simple – but research is revealing that the natural world is anything but simple. It is critical, she says, that such far-reaching decisions are based on sound scientific evidence. The scientific evidence supporting a positive effect of forest planting in boreal areas on Carbon sequestration, and especially on the time-scales needed to reach the 2 C target, are weak. Negative impacts on biodiversity, however, are well-documented. Information about the debate was included in last week’s BIOinfo.

Read more about the research work about invasive species on-going at the Ecological & Environmental Change Research Group: Invaliens

PhD student, Katrine Lekang adds this interesting link from NRK to the debate. The news report says that Norway has used millions to plant sitka spruce, and that they are now using much more to “undo” this environmental catastrophe.