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African Nations Sign Forest Preservation Treaty

Central African leaders have signed a treaty to help save the rain forests of the Congo Basin.

The agreement was reached Saturday at the end of a two-day summit in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, on the preservation of the tropical forests -- the world's second largest.

The treaty will make it easier for countries to jointly track and combat poachers who slip across Africa's remote borders. It will also provide funds for conservation.

French President Jacques Chirac attended the meeting as the chair of an international environmental alliance, the Congo Basin Forest Partnership. Mr. Chirac said the West must be prepared to pay some of the costs of preserving Africa's forests, which he said are of vital importance to the planet.

Some information provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.