Saturday, June 5, 2010

Burning need for REDD rethink?

Liz Kalaugher in Environmental Research Web: The UN REDD (reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation) scheme looks like a promising, and cost-efficient, mechanism for mitigating climate change. But now researchers have found that some areas of the Brazilian Amazon with reduced deforestation have experienced more fires.

"Fires may negate part of the carbon that is protected through the REDD initiative," Luiz Aragão of the University of Exeter told environmentalresearchweb. …Natural fires in the Amazon are rare – most fires tend to be started by humans for land-management purposes. The more frequent and intense droughts that are predicted for the region as climate changes could make fires more common.

"We investigated the sensitivity of fire incidence to reduced deforestation rates to have an idea of the likely scenario we may expect once REDD starts to be implemented in Amazonia," said Aragão. The future of REDD depends on the outcome of climate negotiations following the COP15 process in Copenhagen in December 2009.

…."We need to change the way that Amazonian people use and manage their land so that they can do this without fire," said Aragão. "They would need financial assistance for machinery, training and technical support to enable them to comply with implementation and maintenance of fire-free management of their land."….

Fires and deforestation in Brazil's Amazon frontier, from NASA

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