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Forests and adaptation to climate change
Challenges and opportunitiesIUFROVienna, Austria
Climate change is an important driver of changes in forests. As forests and forest-dependent societies are likely to be affected by climate change and its associated disturbances, adaptation is needed for reducing the vulnerability of forests to climate change. New challenges arise from the need to understand the vulnerability of forests and forest-dependent communities to climate change and to facilitate how they adapt to the changes. Forests also play a role in how the broader society adapts to climate change because forests provide diverse ecosystem services that contribute to human well-being and reduce social vulnerability. For this reason, forests should be considered in planning the adaptation of the society beyond forests. Ecosystem-based adaptation, an emerging approach to dealing forests in a changing climate, offers opportunities for forest and forest-dependent communities and supports the conservation or sustainable management of forests. This chapter presents an overview of climate change as a driver of changes in forests, the challenges and opportunities of adapting forests and the use of forests in adaptation practices, as well as the associated policy issues.