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FAO Paper Examines Stakeholder Perceptions of Forests and Climate Change

FAOMay 2012: As part of the development of guidelines to assist forest managers to respond to climate change challenges and opportunities, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has conducted a survey on perceptions of factors that influence the ability of forest managers to respond to climate change.

The results of the survey are contained in the working paper titled "Forest Management and Climate Change: Stakeholder Perceptions." Over 400 individuals from 90 countries responded to the survey, across all regions of the world and stakeholder groups. The survey aimed to understand the constraints facing those currently engaged in the forestry sector from effectively engaging in adaptation and mitigation activities.

On the perceived impact of climate change on forests, most participants noticed changes over recent decades with respondents from NGOs and private sector the least aware. On the importance of climate change relative to other forest management challenges, climate change was ranked as the least important forest management challenge, with economic challenges ranking highly. On national climate change laws and regulations, 60% of respondents were aware of the existence of a national climate change regulatory framework, and many of those aware had changed practices related to regulation. On adaptation and mitigation responses, almost all respondents were aware of measures that they could take, but lack of financial incentives and lack of technical knowledge were major constraints. [Publication: Forest Management and Climate Change: Stakeholder Perceptions]