Improved Forest Management (IFM)

Increasing and maintaining forests is an essential solution to climate change. What can we do?

The mission of IFM involves the sustainable management of forests and restoration of more of the forest landscapes which we have lost. Halting the degradation of forests and promoting their restoration have the potential to contribute over one-third of the total climate change mitigation scientists say is required by 2030.

By definition, IFM is any non-conventional forest management activity which results in increased carbon stocks within forests and/or reduced greenhouse gas emissions from forests, when compared to traditional forestry practices. IFM is a natural climate solution that is proven to store and reduce carbon emissions within the world’s forests.

IFM addresses climate change by:

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Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), related to conventional forestry techniques

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Capturing and storing additional carbon dioxide from the atmosphere

Through IFM, natural forests can store more carbon while maintaining wood production over the long term. IFM has the potential to reduce close to a gigatonne (882 million tons) a year in cost-effective emissions reductions, equivalent to taking 189 million cars off the road.

Some of the techniques IFM commits to include:

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Extending harvest cycles to allow trees to grow larger before they’re felled, increasing the average carbon stock across a working forest

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Reducing the felling of defective trees that have little or no commercial value

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Thinning of competing trees and vegetation, such as vines, to allow trees to grow faster and bigger

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Managing conservation zones within forests to support ecosystems

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Carefully planning the timing and intensity of harvests to maximize regeneration of trees

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Using innovative low impact logging equipment, like cable winching which avoids collateral damage to trees not harvested

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Selecting and training logging operators to minimize damage to the remaining trees

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Keeping the healthiest, most diverse trees of all size classes and harvesting the rest

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Improving the design and construction of roads to limit impact to the forest

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Properly identifying commercial species prior to cutting so that non-commercial trees are not cut down and abandoned

Global Warming threatens our health, our economy, our natural recourses and our children’s future.

It is clear we must act.