Fund for Deforestation

01 Sep 2006

On Thursday Brazil presented a proposal for a fund to compensate developing countries that reduce destruction of their rainforests at a planning meeting for upcoming global climate talks in Rome.

The fund would be available to countries that manage to reduce their deforestation below rates of the 1990s. This proposal comes as disagreements on how to target deforestation have impeded global efforts to slow emissions of greenhouse gases.

The majority of emissions are the result of the combustion of oil and coal. However, deforestation is responsible for 20% of emissions as trees capture carbon dioxide when they grow and release it when they die.

Past global agreements have centered on credit for re-planting cleared areas, but not on deterrents to cutting. Brazil has historically objected to the grant of tradable emission credits, arguing that heavy oil and coal users like the United States would end up buying these credits instead of effectively reducing their emissions.

After reaching its highest level of deforestation in 2004, Brazil slowed deforestation by 30% last year, and will do the same or better this year, says Environment Minister Marina Silva.

The draft proposal made by Brazil in collaboration with Papua New Guinea and Costa Rica was well received in Rome, said Paul Mountinho of IPAM, the Brazilian environment studies institute.

Source: Planet Ark

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