Forestry offsets and biodiversity issues in the UK

In England there is official concern that threats to biodiversity may result from increasing emphasis on carbon sequestration that involves intensive forest management (that is monocultures) or tree planting that replaces semi-natural habitat harboring biodiversity (DEFRA, 2007).

In Scotland, environmental non-government organizations have a clear policy position on carbon sequestration, believing that it should not be the primary driver of forestry policy in the management of the Scottish National Forest Estate or of the grants that promote forestry (LINK, 2008). A shift away from existing priorities towards support for carbon sequestration per se is not supported. The primary focus of Forestry Commission Scotland should, in the opinion of LINK, continue to be on ensuring the delivery of multiple public benefits such as enhanced biodiversity, improved access and health opportunities, landscapes and historical environment enhancement and rural economic development. Given climate change threats to Scotland's landscapes and biodiversity, an adaptation policy is promoted that restores and expands native and mixed woodlands, forest habitat networks and low impact silvicultural systems, which would at the same time deliver secondary carbon sequestration benefits.

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