Navigation Links
Telecoupling science shows China's forest sustainability packs global impact
Date:12/19/2013

As China increases its forests, a Michigan State University (MSU) sustainability scholar proposes a new way to answer the question: if a tree doesn't fall in China, can you hear it elsewhere in the world?

In this week's journal Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies, MSU's University Distinguished Professor Jianguo "Jack" Liu dissects the global impact of China's struggle to preserve and expand its forests even as its cities and population balloon.

Because China's supersized global role makes each domestic decision a world event, Liu shows how China's efforts to sustain forests influence other countries, and in turn how those changes may rebound to China. He is the author of "Forest Sustainability in China and Implications for a Telecoupled World."

"For a long time, many scientists have focused specifically on one place to understand environmental impact, but that no longer is enough," said Liu, the director of MSU's Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability and the Rachel Carson Chair in Sustainability. "Economic development and environmental conservation in one place are increasingly having substantial influence elsewhere, and spill over into places we don't consider."

Deforestation that eases in China tends to reappear in the countries that sell them lumber and food to meet their ravenous appetite for housing and furniture as well as food. But Liu notes that that's just the beginning. He deploys the telecoupling framework a new multidisciplinary research tool that embraces the minutia of give and take. Telecoupling is socioeconomic and environmental interactions over distances. It goes beyond the idea of connection, as telecoupling factors in actions and reactions over distances.

In the past three decades, China has succeeded in increasing its forest cover. Sweeping policies that limit logging or encourage returning farmland to forest are credited with some of the success. Importing food, such as soybean and meat, and forest products like timber or wood furniture, also contributes. But that seems to have caused forests to decline in the countries selling the forest goods to China, as well as a spray of other impacts.

Importing food to China can allow more land to be returned to forest in China, yet when food demand from China becomes higher, farmers in other countries such as Brazil have more incentive to mow forests down or intensify agriculture by applying more fertilizers and pesticides.

Liu has introduces the telecoupling framework as an integrated way to understand how distance is shrinking and connections are strengthening between nature and humans.

Liu also shows there's more to this than trade. He points out how growing foreign investment in China has led to more houses, factories and infrastructure, all of which carve into forests. Even getting smarter and sharing knowledge and technology more freely can benefit or harm forests. Spreading the message of environmental protection can be a forest's friend, while spreading knowledge of technology can make powerful, efficient machinery available that harvests forests more efficiently.

And telecoupling science also allows scientists to consider "spillover" systems the countries that are left out of the direct equations of trade between China and its partners in food and forest goods, but who produce the machinery to harvest and transport timber, or process timber, or even are home to routes for smugglers.

"The days of simply looking at sustainability at one place are over," Liu said. "We need to understand how the world really works and acknowledge that the world isn't as big and disconnected as we sometimes treat it."


'/>"/>

Contact: Sue Nichols
nichols@msu.edu
517-432-0206
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Telecoupling pulls pieces of sustainability puzzle together
2. Life Sciences Discovery Fund announces R&D grants
3. Linking social science and ecology to solve the worlds environmental problems
4. Ambitious science program will aid fishing industry and monitor effects of climate change on Europes shellfish
5. Pioneering path to electrical conductivity in tinker toy materials to appear in Science
6. Army renews bio-inspired engineering and science research center at UC Santa Barbara with $48 million
7. World Stem Cell Report 2013 highlights expert opinion and state-of-the-art science
8. LSU receives $2 million from NIH for biomedical sciences training for underrepresented students
9. Course in human mate selection wins Science magazine prize
10. 2 Cleveland Clinic researchers honored for contribution to science
11. Wellspring Biosciences Founder Publishes In Nature On Discovery of Small Molecule Inhibitors of K-Ras
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Telecoupling science shows China's forest sustainability packs global impact
(Date:1/13/2016)... ALBANY, New York , January 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... Transparency Market Research has published a new market report ... Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2015 - 2023. According to ... mn in 2014 and is anticipated to reach US$1,625.8 ... from 2015 to 2023. In terms of volume, the ...
(Date:1/11/2016)... CHICAGO , Jan. 11, 2016  higi, ... via nearly 10,000 retail locations, web and mobile, ... than $40 million from existing investors. ... will be devoted to further innovate higi,s health ... app and web portal – including expanding services ...
(Date:1/7/2016)... , Jan. 7, 2016 This BCC Research ... for biometric technologies and devices, identifying newer markets and ... various types of biometric devices. Includes forecast from 2015 ... Identify newer markets and explore the expansion of the ... Examine each type of biometric technology, determine its current ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... Feb. 4, 2016  Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... today that Edward Lanphier , Sangamo,s president and ... progress of Sangamo,s ZFP Therapeutic ® development programs ... 2:40 pm ET on Thursday, February 11, 2016, at ... Conference. The conference is being held in ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... N.J. , Feb. 4, 2016  CytoSorbents ... immunotherapy leader commercializing its flagship CytoSorb® blood filter ... surgery patients around the world, announced that CEO ... present at the Source Capital Group,s 2016 Disruptive ... update on the company.  Conference ...
(Date:2/4/2016)...  Spherix Incorporated (Nasdaq: SPEX ) -- an intellectual property ... intellectual property, today provided an update on the Company,s ... of Texas and announcing that ... Partes Re-examination ("IPR") proceedings that VTech and Uniden ... initiated on only certain claims of two of the ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... ... ... Many of the engineers at FireflySci, Inc. have been manufacturing quartz and ... other cuvette manufacturers is their supercharged customer service and their extensive database of glass ... flow of inside information, they have recently revamped their manufacturing techniques to reduce lead ...
Breaking Biology Technology: