Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Credit for our trees

The carbon credit schemes are designed to give a financial incentive to encourage forests, funded by those producing carbon dioxide emissions. Strangely and illogically the incentives currently are only for reducing deforestation or for reforestation. No incentives for keeping forests standing...
This is a burning issues for many in Guyana - no pun intended(?). May be we should cut down our forests so we can get credit for replanting... but that would be a foolish, unethical and short-sighted path.
A recent study high-lights this issue and calls for action. Guyana along with 10 others countries are singled out as HFLD countries - High Forest cover, Low Deforestation rate.
Some quotes:
Since current proposals would award carbon credits to countries based on their reductions of emissions from a recent historical reference rate, HFLD countries could be left with little potential for RED credits. Nor would they have the potential for reforestation credits...
Preventive credits are an important part of a realistic approach to quickly minimize carbon releases from loss of some of the world's most biologically important forests. Globally indexed reference emission rates for HFLD countries should be part of any international framework for reducing global carbon emissions from deforestation.
Stabroek News - report
EurekAlert - report
PLoS Biology - the original article

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