Debate Rages on How Best to Manage Tropical Forests

At the UN climate conference in Bali in December last year, the international community accepted the need to build forest protection into the successor to the Kyoto Protocol. However, how forests will be protected was not decided and is now being hotly contested.

Advocates of the market-approach argue that including forestry credits in carbon-trading schemes is the only way to secure the future of rainforests: “In global markets, forests are worth more dead than alive…You have to look to markets to turn around what is in fact a market failure.” The European Commission argues that including deforestation in carbon trading would result in the market becoming flooded, devaluing the system and instead wish to use some of the proceeds from carbon trading to create an international fund to tackle deforestation.

There is no dobut that a well-defined and focussed programme to tackle deforestation will have a marked effect on global emissions. Deforestation accounts for 5-6 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide annually, compared with 2 gigatonnes in the entire European trading scheme.

See the original article in Nature