On 16 July 2020, UNU will host “Tropical Deforestation, COVID-19, and Climate Change: What Do They Have in Common?” a virtual conversation with Prof. Kaoru Kitajima of Kyoto University. This event will be held via Zoom Webinar at 18:30 (JST).
As the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity 2011-2020 comes to a close, it is worth examining the habitat where most of Earth’s terrestrial biodiversity is found: forests. Forests contain much of the world’s land-based flora and fauna, guarantee livelihoods for millions, mitigate climate change, and are a vital source of water and food. Since 1990, 420 million hectares of forest have been lost worldwide — equivalent to eleven times the landmass of Japan, or half that of Brazil. Tropical deforestation has serious repercussions, including many that are unpredictable. For example, experts have warned that human encroachment of wild animal habitats will drive the emergence of zoonotic diseases, as pathogens that historically did not interact with people can now jump from animals to humans. There is still hope, however, as the United Nations announced 2021-2030 as the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration to hasten action on biodiversity targets.
Prof. Kitajima will join Prof. Taikan Oki, UNU Senior Vice-Rector and UN Assistant Secretary-General, to discuss how we can reduce tropical deforestation and better manage our tropical rainforests.
The UNU Virtual Conversation Series aims to foster audience participation: you are encouraged to engage with the speakers during the conversation via the Q&A tab. As permitted by time, a number of questions will be selected for speakers to address.
Please note that this event is in English. Advance registration (by 15 July 2020) is required and is limited in capacity. Please click on the REGISTER button above to access the online registration page.
Registrants will be sent a link by email to attend via Zoom Webinar on the day of the event. Zoom software will be required to join the webinar.
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Prof. Kaoru Kitajima is a forest ecologist, with over 30 years of research experience, especially in tropical America and Asia. She is a forest science Professor in the Graduate School of Agriculture at Kyoto University since 2013. She was previously a Professor at the University of Florida (1997-2013). Prof. Kitajima has also served as President of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation and Board Member of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). Her main research interests include regeneration ecology of tropical trees, forest tree responses to climate and other environmental factors, ecosystem functions of plant and microbial diversity in tropical forests, and sustainable use of tropical forest resources.
She received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Tokyo, and a Master of Science and a Doctorate from the University of Illinois.
Online via Zoom Webinar