World Bank Fund Will Pay to Leave Forests Standing

Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia (December 11, 2007) – A new multi-million dollar fund to compensate developing countries for the value of their living forests was launched today by the World Bank at the United Nations climate conference in Bali. The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility was developed because forests are more important left standing than cut down, said World Bank Group President Robert Zoellick, introducing the new facility. As a natural function, trees absorb carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas.

“This initiative is a practical pilot to expand the tools for Climate Change negotiations,” said Zoellick. “The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility signals that the world cares about the global value of forests and is ready to pay for it. This can change the economic options for many people who depend on the forests for their livelihoods. There is now a value to conserving, not just harvesting the forest.”
Deforestation and forest degradation together are the second leading cause of global warming, second only to the combustion of fossil fuels. High on the agenda at the Bali talks is reducing the 1.6 billion tons of carbon emissions caused each year by deforestation, which amounts to about 20 percent of global carbon emissions and more than the combined total of the world’s energy-intensive transport sectors.
Deforestation and forest degradation are responsible for a high percentage of some countries’ national emissions- 70 percent of Brazil’s and 80 percent of Indonesia’s, for instance.
The resources of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility can be used in any new climate change regime negotiated after 2012, when the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol ends.
For the full article, visit Environmental News Service.