LUM: UM's science and society magazine

Tropical, boreal or temperate, forests cover 31% of our planet's land surface. That's why we've devoted the 31 pages of this 21st issue of Lum magazine to them.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) defines forests as "land occupying an area of more than 0.5 hectares, with trees reaching a height of more than 5 meters, and with a canopy cover of more than 10%". They can be found on every continent, from the north to the south, from the small islands of the Pacific to the great steppes of Central Asia.

In the first part of this magazine, we take you on a journey of discovery of these rich and fragile ecosystems, from the cold forests of Canada threatened by megafires, to the luxuriant mangroves of French Guiana, via island forests subject to cyclones. We'll also look at how our expanding French forests are coping with climate change. Forests are also a complete ecosystem, home to the majority of the Earth's biodiversity, a dimension to which we devote the second part of this magazine. A biodiversity made visible through emblematic species such as the Pyrenean bear. Critically endangered, the bear is now the focus of a major monitoring program in which modellers are taking part to promote census-taking and better understand its dispersal.

At the other end of the spectrum, we find the wild boar, whose populations are steadily increasing. An object of conflict and an easy target for hunters, who slaughter 800,000 a year, compared with 50,000 in the 80s, researchers are now working to facilitate integrated management of this highly social animal. Scientists are also tracking down viruses, thanks to their precious allies: ants. Last but not least, the forest is still home to men and women, such as the Bakas of Cameroon, who try to find refuge there when everything else is driving them out.

Despite all these services, forests are paying the price of decades of human activity: between 1990 and 2020, deforestation caused the disappearance of 420 million hectares of forest, according to a report published in 2022 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). To help protect these vital spaces, the Green Climate Fund and the Green Deal for Europe are mobilizing a wide range of political and legal instruments. In particular, strict new criteria will be applied to prevent unsustainable logging and protect areas of high biological diversity. In our third part, ecologists, soil specialists, tax experts and economists share the results of their research, which is helping to preserve our planet's green lungs.

Explore these forests in this 21st issue of Lum magazine, now in an expanded version, with access to UM podcasts: A l'UM la science and Lumlu.

(If you would like to receive a paper copy of Lum, please send an e-mail to the communications department, specifying your contact details and your mailbox.)

Bonus :

Presentation on Radio Campus Montpellier

Radio Campus Montpellier devoted part of La Matinale on November 25, 2019 to the magazine "LUM" (to be found starting at 31 minutes and 40 seconds).

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