Monday, October 15, 2007

Paying developing countries to protect their forests - Blog Action Day

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

Greetings for all the blogs that are participating today in the Blog Action Day! This is a very important day and I hope it will generate a powerful green voice that will help us all move in the right direction. I would like to contribute to this day a post on very good news I read during the weekend on Planet Ark. They published a story from Reuters on a new fund initiated by the World Bank that is aimed to pay developing countries for protecting and replanting their forests.

The idea is very simple - paying developing countries money for protecting their forests will give them an economic incentive to preserve them and fight deforestation. If you make conservation more worthwhile than logging to the governments and the local communities in these areas, it should keep these precious trees alive. Less deforestation = les greenhouse gas emissions.

The logic is also very clear - deforestation contributes 20% of total greenhouse gas emissions, which is, as they remind in the article, more than all the world's cars, trucks, trains and airplanes together! And as the world bank sees it - less deforestation = less greenhouse gas emissions.

The development of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), as the new fund is called will depends on the global agreement that will take effect after Kyoto Protocol will expire in 2012. In the meantime, the article reports that there will be some testing of the concept in 3-5 countries to check how well it works in real life.

I think that all in all it's a good idea and with no economic value to the forests, it will be very difficult to save them from logging. It's also important to make sure that this funding will be spent wisely and that the governments will collaborate and share it with local communities that live in these areas. Their participation and support is critical to the success of this mechanism.

In any case, we still have to remember that this is only a temporary solution. A sustainable solution will have to include also the demand side and ensure that consumers in the developed world will consume alternatives for logging products. For example, recycled paper instead of virgin paper. Only then, when demand will fall, we'll be able to secure the future of the forests and the future of this planet.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: plant a tree for every book you read!