Brazil Proposes Rainforest Conservation Fund
Brazil has joined the calls for a fund to compensate developing countries that slow the destruction of their rainforests. Paying countries to reduce deforestation and forest diminishment would yield tremendous benefits in terms of biodiversity and ecosystem services including reducing carbon dioxide releases blamed for global warming. Deforestation accounts for at least 20% of humanity's greenhouse gas releases [search]. Global environmental agreements allow credit for planting trees but "offer no incentives for preventing cutting in areas like Brazil's Amazon, home to nearly a third of all species and a quarter of the earth's fresh water." Papua New Guinea and Costa Rica have made similar proposals in the past, but these have languished. Brazil in coming around to an idea they have previously resisted has moved the ball forward. International policy development to address both deforestation and global heating needs a renewed sense of urgency and linkage between the issues.