15 December, 2007

THE AGE: Nations to be paid to stave off logging

Mark Forbes, Nusa Dua, Bali
December 15, 2007 [Article source]

Countries will be paid to protect forests from logging, with the Bali conference adopting a proposal for the successor to the Kyoto Protocol to embrace deforestation.

The deal was proclaimed as beginning a new era in conservation, envisaging a multibillion-dollar forest carbon protection fund to reward developing nations for reducing logging.

The head of the Global Canopy Program, Andrew Mitchell, said Bali had become "the forest conference".

Money will immediately flow through to pilot forest protection projects.

The breakthrough heralded a new international approach to the environment, according to the chief negotiator for developing nations, Kevin Conrad. "I believe it's a first step to what we in society have to do in the future, which is create markets that value our environment."

Trading the carbon saved from reducing logging would create a new carbon credit market, Mr Conrad said. The move would require deeper emissions cuts from developed nations to help fund the trade.

"It's the first time we've really had an ecosystem service that's globally traded, that starts to deal with standing forests," Mr Conrad said.

"The industrialised world wants our wood, wants our cocoa, wants our coffee, and for us that means we've got to cut down forests."

Bali delegates endorsed a declaration stating the post-Kyoto deal should include "issues relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation" in developing countries.

The move offers a lifeline to the world's tropical forests, which are threatened by rampant logging.

The Kyoto Protocol did not extend to logging, and the decision was seen as a breakthrough for developing nations.

No comments: