A recent paper in the African Journal of Ecology points out that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that 20-25% of current annual carbon emissions result from loss of tropical forest. This has prompted efforts to renegotiate climate change policy to include REDD so that tropical forest nations can claim compensation for sustainable management of their natural forest resources.
But not all tropical countries are pushing for an agreement and many African countries do not appear to be participating in the discussion. Eliakimu Zahabu from the Sokoine University of Agriculture in
This means that the concepts for lowering carbon emissions from developing countries that have been worked out under the climate change agreements need rethinking. Dr Margaret Skutsch, from the University of Twente in the Netherlands, has been studying the problem for five years "Degradation is often a different process with different drivers and needs a different instrument in Kyoto" she says, and adds "for African countries to benefit from the new policy, they need to support the idea of reduced emissions from controlling degradation in a way that reflects African realities, and to do this they need to engage in the debate."
A REDD policy would change that so that forest managers could conserve both carbon and biodiversity, it would be an unbelievable break-through. "In addition, poverty alleviation isn't just about direct payments for carbon." Prof. Lovett continues "Forests, particularly the dry forests which cover so much of
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