Conserving forests is critical for the planet's ecosystem
The world’s forests are a critical component of the planet’s ecosystem. They play an important role in the composition of the air we breathe, provide ecological diversity, protect the soil, and maintain the hydrological cycle. In addition, timber and other forest products are a primary source of livelihoods for millions around the world. Further, forests reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases through the process of carbon sequestration and their importance to regulating global climate is likely to become even more important as alternative carbon sinks become saturated.
Unfortunately, there has been significant degradation of forest cover over recent decades as a result of logging, conversion to cropland or plantation, and natural or man-made disasters such as forest fires, floods, and other extreme events. Although natural disasters play a role, a large fraction of deforestation is due to direct human activity as a result of increasing economic, social and demographic pressures. Regardless of the cause, the impacts of deforestation can be significant and long lasting.
PSI Research Themes
PSI is pursuing four critical research themes to enable better management of terrestrial tropical forest ecosystems under uncertainty.