Team 3 (University of California, Davis), Topic 2: What is the best individual solution to solving the threat of global climate change?
Storage of carbon with forests is economically feasible and immediately implementable; no new technology is needed beyond that developed over centuries of silvicultural practices. A well-managed forest can reliably provide economic output and long-term carbon storage as wood products. Subsequent regrowth of trees, which sequester more carbon as saplings, continues the cycle of carbon sequestration using the same land. Reforestation is socially acceptable, and such programs can easily be deployed through extant systems such as the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organizations’ Forestry networks as well as non-governmental and private organizations.
Forests reduce local carbon emissions that would otherwise be produced by unforested land, preserve soil quality, minimize erosion, and serve as habitat and corridors for local wildlife. Furthermore, unlike climate change management strategies that seek to solely minimize carbon output, forests actively assist in removing extant excess atmospheric carbon dioxide, a primary greenhouse gas. Forestation is a sustainable and proactive strategy for climate change management with long-lasting benefits.