Scientific group endorses radical plan to save rainforests

May 19, 2006

The Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC), the world's largest scientific organization devoted to the study and wise use of tropical ecosystems, has formally endorsed a bold new proposal to help save tropical forests.

The proposal is being advanced by the Coalition for Rainforest Nations (www.rainforestcoalition.org), an alliance of 15 developing countries led by Papua New Guinea and Costa Rica, which is promoting "carbon trading" to slow the rampant pace of forest destruction within their borders.

The rapid destruction of tropical forests causes a quarter of all human greenhouse-gas emissions, and is a key driver of global warming. Under the proposal, tropical nations that show permanent reductions in forest clearing would be eligible to receive international carbon funds.

These funds would largely come from industrial nations, who could purchase carbon credits to help them meet their emissions targets under the Kyoto Protocol or other international climate agreements.

"It's as close to a win-win situation as one sees these days," said ATBC president Dr William Laurance, a biologist with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. "The forests win, the climate wins, and impoverished people in developing nations win."

All involved agree that there are important technical and political hurdles to be cleared before rainforest-carbon trading becomes viable. This is one of the main reasons that the ATBC endorsement is considered so important.

"We've looked very closely at the technical details of this proposal," said Laurance. "We're convinced that it will work and can lead to major reductions in forest destruction and greenhouse gases."

Dr. Wari Iamo, Secretary of the Department of Environment and Conservation in Papua New Guinea, welcomed the ATBC endorsement. "We're delighted to have the official support of such an important scientific organization," said Iamo. "This will help us keep our momentum internationally."

"Developing nations are trying to save their forests," said Iamo, "but we also need to develop economically and reduce poverty". "This would help us achieve that -- and also help the world breathe easier."
-end-
The Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (www.atbio.org) has over 1200 members in over 70 countries worldwide. It is the world's leading scientific organization devoted to the study, protection, and wise use of tropical ecosystems.

The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (www.stri.org) is the world's leading center for research in tropical ecology, evolution, behavior, paleontology, and conservation. Part of the Smithsonian Institution, STRI is headquartered in Panama but its scientists work in over 40 tropical nations around the world.

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Related Conservation Articles from Brightsurf:

New guide on using drones for conservation
Drones are a powerful tool for conservation - but they should only be used after careful consideration and planning, according to a new report.

Elephant genetics guide conservation
A large-scale study of African elephant genetics in Tanzania reveals the history of elephant populations, how they interact, and what areas may be critical to conserve in order to preserve genetic diversity of the species.

Measuring the true cost of conservation
BU Professor created the first high-resolution map of land value in the United states.

Environmental groups moving beyond conservation
Although non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have become powerful voices in world environmental politics, little is known of the global picture of this sector.

Hunting for the next generation of conservation stewards
Wildlife ecology students become the professionals responsible for managing the biodiversity of natural systems for species conservation.

Conservation research on lynx
Scientists at the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW) and the Leibniz Institute for Molecular Pharmacology (Leibniz-FMP) discovered that selected anti-oxidative enzymes, especially the enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD2), may play an important role to maintain the unusual longevity of the corpus luteum in lynxes.

New 'umbrella' species would massively improve conservation
The protection of Australia's threatened species could be improved by a factor of seven, if more efficient 'umbrella' species were prioritised for protection, according to University of Queensland research.

Trashed farmland could be a conservation treasure
Low-productivity agricultural land could be transformed into millions of hectares of conservation reserve across the world, according to University of Queensland-led research.

Bats in attics might be necessary for conservation
Researchers investigate and describe the conservation importance of buildings relative to natural, alternative roosts for little brown bats in Yellowstone National Park.

Applying biodiversity conservation research in practice
One million species are threatened with extinction, many of them already in the coming decades.

Read More: Conservation News and Conservation Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.