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G8 summit: Opportunity for immediate action on climate change
Date:7/2/2008

sh water, food and medicines directly depended on by local communities, often the most vulnerable and poorest of society. These forests also serve as critical carbon sinks by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing the carbon in trees and soil.

Every year, tropical forest equal to an area the size of England is destroyed for conversion to agriculture, grazing or industrial use, biofuels production, and resource extraction such as logging and mining. Continuing this rampant deforestation will undermine progress toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions in other sectors such as energy and transport. Researchers estimate that if deforestation rates in just Brazil and Indonesia continue at current levels, the resulting emissions could negate 80 percent of emissions reductions by industrialized countries expected under the Kyoto Protocol, the 1997 U.N. agreement to address climate change emissions.

Currently, the Kyoto agreement only recognizes carbon absorption by a replanted forest as eligible for carbon credits. In December 2007, the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change agreed to also consider financial incentives for tropical countries that protect standing forests to prevent emissions from deforestation.

CI has launched a global campaign titled "Lost There, Felt Here" that promotes tropical forest conservation as a solution to climate change. The campaign, featuring a video by film legend Harrison Ford, delivers the central message that destroying tropical forests hurts everyone, no matter where they live. For example, New Zealand has recently accepted the first climate "refugees" from Kiribati and other Pacific island nations that are losing their land from rising sea levels caused by climate change.

As part of its overall climate change strategy, CI is supporting efforts by Liberia, Madagascar, Guyana and other developing governments to engage global climate change mechanisms such as the World Bank's Forest
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Contact: Tom Cohen
tcohen@conservation.org
703-341-2729
Conservation International
Source:Eurekalert

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