According to some estimates, deforestation accounts for over 15% of world greenhouse gas emissions. Because of the role that its destruction could play in expediting global climate change, the Amazon forest has been the center of attention when it comes to deforestation and natural carbon sequestration. An article published last week in The Guardian reported:
“Barack Obama made his first public intervention in the Copenhagen climate summit Thursday by backing a plan put forward by Norway and Brazil which would [help to] protect the world’s rainforests with funding from rich countries that cannot meet their commitments to cut emissions domestically.”
Brazil has the most remaining forest of every country worldwide, and about 20% of the world’s deforestation per annum occurs in the Amazon forest. Therefore, Brazil’s participation in collaborative talks about slowing deforestation is crucial for the success of about 20 different plans for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) that have been proposed by various countries. Discussions under UN auspices are expected to be very thorough and to continue in a separate conference following the summit in Copenhagen. Determining a means to monitor progress and ensure protection of the forests involved and the peoples who depend on them will surely require much deliberation.
The United Nations Collaborative Program on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD program) has received a lot of media attention lately, in the buzz surrounding this year’s U.N. climate change Conference in Copenhagen. Concerned scientists and citizens around the world had hoped a new international agreement addressing climate change would come out of this week’s conference, and many are supportive of the U.N.’s proposed REDD program, which provides countries with incentives to conserve their forests and slow climate change by paying those countries not to cut their forests. However, according to the New York Times, leaders will likely delay making such an agreement this week. Hopefully a framework for a future agreement will emerge from the talks in Copenhagen.
To keep up with the debate and the conference’s progress, please visit the conference website and check this blog often as we will be posting updates.
Additional Articles on UN-REDD and the talks in Copenhagen:
Nature Conservancy policy analysts and scientists are at the UN climate summit in Copenhagen for the next two weeks. Their delegation is reporting the latest developments on their blog, Cool Green Science. If you’re looking for quick and updated analysis on the Copenhagen Climate Summit, this is a great way to stay informed!