Forest & Humans: Climate Conversations

Climate Conversations: Interconnected relationships

ARTICLE · By Lucy Bedry TTF FLEGT Communications Executive · 14 April 2021

Forests, trees, and biodiversity are essential to human existence. As such, we have a duty and responsibility to both protect and preserve them, ensuring that this natural habitat thrives for years to come.

Forests, trees, and biodiversity are essential to human existence. They are the heart, lungs and providers of our planet, interconnected with all aspects of societies, communities and livelihoods.

Their role is vast, from releasing oxygen to creating jobs, habitats, livelihoods and improving our wellbeing and health. As such, we have a duty and responsibility to both protect and preserve them, ensuring that this natural habitat thrives for years to come.

For many of us, the pandemic has created a greater appreciation for the green outdoors and nature. This engagement comes at a time when our natural world is an unparalleled climate crisis.

The most important mission of current and future generations is to make the shift that disentangles economic development from environmental degradation, to create a future that is in harmony with nature.

Since the 16th century – the rise of Western civilization, population increase and social pressures – human activity has impacted nature in practically every part of the world and in every imaginable way. From the extinction of plants, animals and biodiversity to deforestation and land degradation, to land erosion, water scarcity, and climate change.

All of us have a role to play in the climate emergency and helping the shift the balance back between environmental well-being and quality of life, economic development and climate change.“We need to become stewards of the planet…to bring back the motivation and imagination to protect and restore the wondrous connectivity of our natural world as a lot of opportunities arise”, ICUN 2018.

Multiple scientific organisations worldwide have issued public statements to the effect that: 97% or more of climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities (NASA).

Global evidence for rapid climate change is compelling from a 1.8c increase in global temperature rise since the late 19th century, warming of oceans by 0.33c since 1969, to shrinking ice sheets at a rate of 148 billion tons of ice annually in Antarctica, glacial retreat decreased snow cover, sea-level rise, extreme weather events, ocean acidification and more. The list goes on and on.

Although the science of climate change is evident, many effects of climate change are distant from most people. Installations of the TTFs Conversations about Climate Change exhibition provides a platform for people to grapple and contextualise with environmental topics ahead of the COP26 climate talks held in Glasgow in November. From sea-level rise to global temperature changes, sustainable forest management and resource extraction, the one key commonality through the six installations, is people.

We can and must protect, preserve and sustainably manage our forests. Ensuring sustainable forest management and responsible procurement targets are met, eradicating illegal logging, upholding strong due diligence and working to address the climate change and biodiversity crises. Our forests are our future.

The conversation of forest habitats has been explored in greater detail by Jeremy Yu and Tomos Owen of Studio Yu through the Sapele Sound Pavilion installation. Explore the ‘In Conversation with Jeremy Yu’ to find out more about his intended conversation through design here for the Conversations about Climate Change virtual exhibition here.

Sapele Sound Pavilion, Jeremy Yu and Tomos Owen © Chris Jackson / Building Centre

Timber supplied by Interholco, a sister partner company to TTF member Brooks Bros (UK).

Timber for the Conversations about Climate Change exhibition has been sourced through Timber Trade Federation members, in line with the TTFs Responsible Purchasing Policy – a risk management for the continuous improvement of TTF Members’ awareness of obligations under the EU / UK Timber Regulation (EUTR/ UKTR), the Constructions Product Regulation (CPR) and TTF Code of Conducts.

Image cover: Conscious Design for Unsplash