Bringing back California’s redwood forests
Bringing back California's redwood forests BBC.com
Restoring California’s Redwood Forests for a Sustainable Future
The Significance of Redwoods and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Redwoods are known to store more aboveground carbon than any other forest on Earth. With only 5% of California’s redwood forests remaining untouched by logging, there is a growing initiative to restore these forests. This restoration effort aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Goal 13: Climate Action and Goal 15: Life on Land.
The History and Importance of Redwood National Park
In 1964, Redwood National Park was established in California, thanks to bipartisan support and the recognition of the park’s ability to inspire. However, most of the old growth had already been removed during the creation of the park. Today, over 100,000 acres of injured, young forest on federal and state land are actively being nurtured into new old growth through various restoration tactics.
The Redwoods Rising Initiative
The launch of Redwoods Rising, an ambitious recovery program, has brought attention to the restoration of redwood forests. This initiative, a partnership between Redwood National and State Parks and Save the Redwoods League, aims to restore 600 acres of redwood forest annually. The urgency of this program has increased due to the impacts of climate change in the region.
The Carbon Storage and Biodiversity Benefits of Old-Growth Redwoods
Scientific research has shown that old-growth redwoods store more aboveground carbon than any other forest on Earth. They can store up to 2,600 tonnes per hectare, which is three to five times more than even the oldest secondary forests. Additionally, old-growth redwoods provide diverse habitats and support various species, including rare Pacific fisher and Humboldt marten.
The Need for Protection and Restoration
Out of the original 2 million acres of redwood forest, only 5% remains untouched and contains the iconic forest giants. The remaining redwood lands are privately owned and often subjected to repeated logging. The Save the Redwoods League calls for the protection and restoration of 800,000 acres, representing half of the remaining redwood forests. This effort is crucial for preserving biodiversity, mitigating climate change, and reversing the destruction caused by human occupation.
The Role of Local Communities and Native American Tribes
Local governments and Native American tribes, such as the Yurok tribe, have been actively involved in redwood forest restoration. The Yurok tribe manages 70,000 acres of redwood forest for timber, traditional foods, and cultural preservation. Their efforts demonstrate the potential for scaling up restoration projects beyond small islands of preserved forests.
Overcoming Challenges and Ensuring Financial Support
The majority of redwood lands are owned by timber companies, posing challenges to restoration efforts. However, financial resources are available to support large-scale restoration. For example, Californians have approved numerous bond issues with an average price tag of $5 billion. A comprehensive conservation plan that integrates science, culture, economics, and local knowledge can mobilize financial support for the long-term preservation of redwood forests.
A Vision for the Future
Restoring a landscape of redwood forests, rather than isolated groves, is essential for achieving a sustainable future. The preservation and restoration of redwood forests contribute to climate action, biodiversity conservation, and the well-being of local communities. By investing in the protection and restoration of redwood forests, we can ensure the endurance of these majestic trees for generations to come.
SDGs, Targets, and Indicators
1. Which SDGs are addressed or connected to the issues highlighted in the article?
- SDG 13: Climate Action
- SDG 15: Life on Land
The article discusses the restoration of redwood forests in California, which is directly related to climate action (SDG 13) and the preservation of terrestrial ecosystems (SDG 15).
2. What specific targets under those SDGs can be identified based on the article’s content?
- SDG 13.2: Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning
- SDG 15.1: By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration, and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services
The article highlights the need to integrate climate change measures into forest restoration efforts and emphasizes the importance of conserving and restoring terrestrial ecosystems.
3. Are there any indicators mentioned or implied in the article that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets?
- Indicator for SDG 13.2: Number of policies, strategies, and plans that integrate climate change measures
- Indicator for SDG 15.1: Percentage of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems restored and under conservation
The article mentions the launch of the Redwoods Rising program as an ambitious recovery program for redwood forest restoration, which can be considered a policy or strategy that integrates climate change measures. The article also discusses the need to protect and restore a specific number of acres of redwood forests, which can be used as an indicator for the restoration of terrestrial ecosystems.
SDGs, Targets, and Indicators Table
|SDG 13: Climate Action||13.2: Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning||Number of policies, strategies, and plans that integrate climate change measures|
|SDG 15: Life on Land||15.1: By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration, and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services||Percentage of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems restored and under conservation|
Behold! This splendid article springs forth from the wellspring of knowledge, shaped by a wondrous proprietary AI technology that delved into a vast ocean of data, illuminating the path towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Remember that all rights are reserved by SDG Investors LLC, empowering us to champion progress together.
Join us, as fellow seekers of change, on a transformative journey at https://sdgtalks.ai/welcome, where you can become a member and actively contribute to shaping a brighter future.