Climate change is one of our biggest challenges. A large part of the increased emissions of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere comes from the way we extract, transform and use fossil energy. As a result of the increased emissions, we are likely to go against an average global warming that exceeds two degrees Celsius. We can already see effects in the forest, where new pests and diseases, droughts and fires increase the stress in the forest ecosystem and hamper the development of sustainable forestry.
Climate change thus changes the conditions for the entire forest landscape, which can lead to reduced resilience and weakened ecosystem services, including the forests ability to store coal.
UNESCO biosphere reserves (BRs) are designated to be model regions for sustainable development, where new methods are tested and developed. The biosphere reserves provide suitable areas for gathering knowledge about the effects of climate change in forest landscapes and for projecting future scenarios based on available climate models. The 686 biosphere reserves in the world form a global network, where experiences and knowledge are shared. The network is a resource for strategic global surveillance, while it is a channel for establishing collaborations and creating opportunities for international exchanges. Biosphere reserves are strategic arenas to learn from when implementing the 2030 Agenda.
Biosphere Forest for the Future is an initiative that aims to produce a project description for the further development of biosphere reserves as model regions for climate adaptation in forest landscapes. Biosphere reserves from different climate and vegetation regions can thus provide learning about forest ecosystems and forest management in different climates.
In 2018, the Swedish Forest Agency funded a preparatory study with the aim to explore the need and interest of initiating an international collaboration between UNESCO biosphere reserves to address climate change adaptation in forest landscapes.