Charismatic megafauna are the drivers and icons for conservation campaigns. Look at WWF with its hugely memorable Panda logo driving their whole brand’s image and ethos on halting habitat destruction.
The role of charismatic megafauna in nature conservation is well established. However, less recognition has been given to the significance of charismatic megaflora (trees and forests). People on the street would have trouble to name, on the spot, flagship trees or flagship flora species.
In light of mainstream flora illiteracy, rainforests have become conservation icons, and rightly so since endangered tropical rainforests are the single greatest terrestrial source of air that we breathe. Forests perform a whole host of essential ecosystem services, like preventing run-off and floods. Rainforests retain water like a huge sponge, the Amazon alone stores half of Earth's rainwater.
2014 was a landmark year for tropical rainforests, with dozens of major companies committing to eliminating deforestation from their supply chains. This Mongabay list looks at what is in store for rainforest monitoring and protection in 2015 as governments move towards signing a binding climate framework in Paris at the end of this year.
2015 will also see the completion of a study funded by several palm oil companies to establish a threshold for defining what constitutes high carbon stock forest. Whether that definition will be accepted by environmentalists is far from certain. Beyond the palm oil sector, the Forest Stewardship Council's progress in moving forward on last year's motion to include "intact forest landscapes" as high conservation value areas will be closely tracked by environmentalists. The FSC is the leading eco-certification initiative for timber and other wood products, but has been criticized by many environmentalists for loopholes in its chain of custody system. and allowing first-time logging of primary forests