An estimated 10 percent of the planet's forest loss (a surface slightly smaller than Greenland) occurred during the last two decades of the 20th century alone. This destruction resulted not only in species extinction and loss of biodiversity and natural beauty, but in certain cases even brought an end to entire ways of life for local forest communities. Yet this tragedy - and its horrible consequences - prompted little action, either on the local or international level.
Recent scientific information has added another twist to the
issue. It is now universally recognised that deforestation
causes about 20 percent of annual greenhouse gas emissions.
This means that cutting down trees is more destructive to the
planet than the entire global transport sector. It is this final
"loss" that has convinced the international community of the urgent
need for forest protection.
Add your name in support of "Forests for Climate"
For the sake of biodiversity, indigenous peoples' rights and
the climate I support Greenpeace's call to cut emissions - not
Negotiations on the next commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol
(theUnited Nation's treaty for stopping global warming) must be
decided bythe end of 2009. Because deforestation is a comparatively
cheap andeasy way to radically cut greenhouse gas emissions, it
must play a rolein the new agreement. Furthermore, to be really
effective,deforestation in the tropical forests of Brazil, the
Congo Basin andthe Paradise Forests (Indonesia and Papua New
Guinea) must end by 2015.
Given that most tropical forests are situated in developing
countries,the critical question becomes: How will an end to
Greenpeace believes that the next treaty must include a new
global,market-linked fund, overseen by the UNFCCC (The United
NationsFramework Convention on Climate Change), which would provide
financingto protect the world's remaining tropical forests. Our
blueprint forsuch a mechanism is called "Forests for Climate".
Forests for Climate" mechanism differs from other proposals
inthat it limits offsets by rich countries, thereby ensuring that
largegreenhouse gas emitters like the US and China also effectuate
emissionsreductions at home. Stopping deforestation is essential,
yet alone willnot bring greenhouse gas emissions down to levels
that would haltclimate change.
Forests for Climate also ensures protection of biodiversity,
andinsists upon the participation and the protection of rights
ofindigenous peoples. Not only do indigenous peoples often depend
on theforests for their existence, but they are generally best
placed todevelop the necessary means of forest monitoring and
Forests for Climate allows for early financing - because our
fragile earth needs protection now.