Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Developing nations may save the tropical forest

13.04.2006


New initiative is an alternative to destruction of their forests in order to develop economically



In an article this Friday (April 14) in the international magazine New Scientist, a leading rainforest biologist from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama argues that a new initiative by developing nations offers great promise to help reduce the rampant rate of tropical forest destruction.

William Laurance, a Smithsonian scientist who is also president of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, says the proposal "basically involves selling or renting rainforests to help protect the billions of tons of carbon they store, thereby slowing the rapid buildup of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere."


The accelerating rise of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is considered a key cause of global warming. According to the International Panel on Climate Change, the destruction of tropical forests--currently disappearing at a rate of fifty football fields a minute--accounts for up to a quarter of all human greenhouse-gas emissions.

The new initiative, which is being forwarded by an alliance of developing countries led by Papua New Guinea and Costa Rica (www.rainforestcoalition.org), would set up a mechanism whereby wealthy industrial nations pay developing countries to slow deforestation. In so doing, the industrial nations would earn ’carbon credits’ that would count toward their agreed emissions target under the Kyoto Protocol or other international agreements.

"It’s potentially a win-win situation for everybody involved," said Laurance. "The forests win, the atmosphere wins, the international community wins, and developing nations struggling to overcome poverty win."

"Of course, the devil is in the details," Laurance admits. Earlier efforts to establish rainforest-carbon trading under Kyoto were defeated, in part because countries couldn’t agree about whether and how to credit countries that slowed forest destruction.

Some developing countries, such as Brazil, also fought the original proposal under Kyoto, in part because they feared that making long-term, binding commitments to protect their forests might reduce their sovereignty and future development options.

However, the new initiative is rapidly gaining international support. "A key point is that the initiative is the brain-child of developing nations, who are sincerely trying to find an alternative to rapidly destroying their forests in order to develop economically," said Laurance.

The new proposal has also benefited because its proponents have learned from earlier mistakes. "They are being very smart about this, working to build grassroots support and ensuring they get the details of the proposal right," said Laurance.

"So far, even the Bush Administration, which usually fights initiatives to establish binding national commitments to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, has remained silent," said Laurance.

Nevertheless, no one imagines that implementing the proposal will be easy. "There are still many hurdles to clear," said Laurance. "But a key point is that, if a viable rainforest-carbon trading mechanism is established, the perverse economic logic that currently drives rapid forest destruction could be profoundly altered. That would make us all breath a little easier."

In addition to his article in New Scientist, Laurance provides a more in-depth explanation of rainforest-carbon trading in the May issue of Tropinet, a newsletter that is distributed to 8000 tropical biologists worldwide. Copies of both articles are available upon request.

William F. Laurance | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.si.edu
http://www.atbio.org
http://www.rainforestcoalition.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Upcycling 'fast fashion' to reduce waste and pollution
03.04.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli

26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>