Scotland eyes future-proofing forests to aid net zero ambitions

FORESTERS have been urged to adapt their woodlands now to minimise the risks of climate change.

The call came from Scottish Forestry, which said such future-proofing would ensure the country’s woodlands will continue to provide environmental, social, and economic benefits, as well as aiding Scotland’s net zero ambitions.

Increasing tree species and diversity, creating mixed woodlands, using natural regeneration, careful design plans, and careful selection of tree provenance are some of the measures being advised.

Scottish Forestry said wood products can be used as an alternative to other materials that release greenhouse gases in their production, such as concrete and plastics.

It added that the harvesting and use of wood from sustainably managed forests transfers the carbon into wood products where it can continue to be stored – often over long periods – in materials such as those used for construction and furniture.

Scottish Government environment minister, Màiri McAllan, said, “Our forests and woodlands have such a substantial role in helping to reduce climate change and nature loss, but we need to protect them and ensure they are up to the job well into the future. As I highlighted in the recent ICF conference on climate smart forestry, we are facing serious challenges with a rapidly changing climate.”