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DEFORESTATION AND CLIMATE CHANGE Duncan Brack, SENIOR RESEARCH FELLOW, ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND RESOURCE GOVERNANCE, CHATHAM HOUSE, Katharina Umpfenbach, FELLOW, ECOLOGIC INSTITUTE

NotFor Felling

dEFORESTATION IS RESPONSIBLE for roughly one fifth of global carbon emissions, most of it in the tropical forests of the developing world. Economists esti mate that

avoiding deforestation could be one of the cheapest options for cutting greenhouse gasses.

Considering that forests are often cleared for meagre agricultural returns – in Africa these can be as low as $200 per hectare – while the released carbon might be as valuable as

THEWORLDTODAY.ORG OCTOBER 2009

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Carbon stored in forests will stand centre stage at the Copenhagen climate talks in December. A potential new mechanism that would

compensate nations for keeping their forests intact is generating high hopes for multiple benefits, not just in

lower greenhouse gas emissions but also protecting rural livelihoods and biodiversity. But providing carbon finance

alone might not be enough to stop people from felling tropical forests – unless a good chunk of it is spent upfront on improving

forest regulation and law enforcement.

GREENPEACE/LUCIANA NAPCHAN

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