Developing nations help tropical forests

April 12, 2006

A rainforest biologist from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama says developing nations may help stop tropical forest destruction.

William Laurance, who is also president of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, says an initiative by developing nations 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 International Panel on Climate Change says the destruction of tropical forests -- currently at a rate of 50 football fields a minute -- accounts for up to a quarter of all human greenhouse-gas emissions.

The initiative -- sponsored by an alliance of developing countries led by Papua New Guinea and Costa Rica -- would allow industrial nations to pay developing countries to slow deforestation. 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."

The study is to appear Friday in New Scientist magazine.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Tropical thunderstorms are set to grow stronger as the world warms

Related Stories

Portable 3-D scanner assesses patients with elephantiasis

October 17, 2017

An estimated 120 million people worldwide are infected with lymphatic filariasis, a parasitic, mosquito-borne disease that can cause major swelling and deformity of the legs, a condition known as elephantiasis. Health-care ...

Study reveals new threat to the ozone layer

October 12, 2017

"Ozone depletion is a well-known phenomenon and, thanks to the success of the Montreal Protocol, is widely perceived as a problem solved," says University of East Anglia's David Oram. But an international team of researchers, ...

Promising new leprosy vaccine moves into human trials

October 12, 2017

Today marks a significant step forward in the prevention and treatment of leprosy as the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) and American Leprosy Missions announce the start of a Phase 1 clinical trial in humans ...

Lessons learned, and some unheeded, after hurricanes

October 12, 2017

The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season does not end until after Thanksgiving in late November, but it has already been a memorable one. Harvey wrought havoc on Texas in August. Irma, which notched records for size and power, ...

Recommended for you

Scientists develop new theory of molecular evolution

October 23, 2017

Researchers from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and the University College London have developed a new theory of molecular evolution, offering insights into how genes function, how the rates of evolutionary ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.