Monday, March 23, 2009

Cutting Emissions and Saving Forests

Forests are one of our planet’s most precious resources. Unfortunately they are easily lost, and often must compete with other agricultural enterprises. Slowing deforestation is a frontline battle in the fight against climate change. Accounting for over 17 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation is second only to the energy sector as the largest source of emissions. Because of harmful practices like over-logging and slash and burn agriculture, the rate of deforestation has averaged 13 million hectares between 1990 and 2005. That’s more than 24 million football fields every year, mostly in the tropics! To take on this enormous challenge, the UN Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation Program (UN-REDD) supports nations as they implement sustainable forestry management programs which offer both environmental and economic benefits to their citizens.

UN-REDD has just approved $18 Million in funding to support the programs of five new nations that are ready to take on the challenge. Senior government representatives from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Tanzania and Viet Nam recently came together to discuss and share plans on how to reduce emissions and save precious forest ecosystems. They join the four other pilot program nations of Bolivia, Panama, Paraguay, and Zambia which are already participating.

To find out more about how the UN is saving forests and fighting climate change click here