News

Deal to Save Forests Could Be Copenhagen's Bright Spot

U.N.-backed REDD program could mean billions of dollars for developing countries and forest communities as rich nations buy carbon offsets to meet their emissions reduction obligations at home.

Natasha Saini

After two weeks of sometimes tense negotiations at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, one bright spot has been support for ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation. 

For the first time in decades of international climate talks, an incentive to save tropical forests is on the negotiating table. 

A U.N.-backed plan for "Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation,"  or REDD for short, is designed to pay the poorer nations to save their forests.

Charlie Cronnick at the environmental group Greenpeace says it could be a very positive development.

"It can be a genuine contribution to the inevitable ongoing fight to protect the climate because what is absolutely certain is we're not going to get anything like what we needed out of Copenhagen," he said.

The program could mean billions of dollars for developing countries and forest communities as rich nations buy carbon offsets to meet their emissions reduction obligations at home.

But Charlie Cronnick says that for the project to be successful, it must be done the right way.

"There has got to be adequate funding," he said. "It has to respect the rights of indigenous people and protect bio-diversity. In other words it can't just be an excuse to cut down forests and put in plantations and things like palm oil or other monocultures."

Nick Nuttall, spokesperson for United Nations Environment Program, adds that policymakers need to also be careful that the project does not simply displace deforestation to areas not covered by the program.  But for the deal to come into effect in the first place, a number of loose ends need to be tied up.

"The question is, you know, whether we will get a comprehensive package of various measures that are needed to get a deal here in Copenhagen. You know, we've got issues of financing, we have issues concerning REDD, we have issues of technology transfer," said Nuttall.

Nuttal says, however, that there is widespread support for the program among all parties concerned and it will move ahead in one form or another- as part of a Copenhagen deal or outside of it.

For the climate talks at Copenhagen that have been beset by complications, the REDD program could be a bright spot.  Scientists say deforestation accounts for about one-fifth of the greenhouse emissions damaging the environment and the program could go a long way in tackling the problem.
 

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs