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Liberia hopes to find money growing on trees FEATURE 06/08/2010

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Liberia hopes to find money growing on trees


GREENVILLE — Conserve the rainforests and we will pay you... so goes the gist of an ambitious plan by the West to protect forests in developing countries, including Liberia.
And it could earn Africa billions of dollars.

With its lush forests vulnerable to miners and loggers, Liberia is well-placed to join the scheme, through which African nations would earn money while at the same time helping the West to meet its climate change goals.
Simply put, the scheme would see developing nations preserve their forests in return for cash from carbon-spewing industrialized countries.

The forests would act as a massive sink to soak up harmful carbon emissions that are a prime factor behind global warming.

Poor and battered by war but with its 40 percent forest cover under threat from farming, mining and logging, Liberia is a prime location for the project known as REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation).

Successful implementation could help in its development while protecting a fragile environment the over-burdened government doesn’t have the ability to spend money on.

“Sequestration of carbon is a new product that Africa can sell and the global community wants,” Ravi Prabhu, senior program officer for forests and climate change with the UN Environment Program (UNEP) told AFP.
“Looking across the Congo Basin, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Nigeria, Ghana — all the forested countries could gain enormously from this.”

Trees absorb the carbon via photosynthesis and change it into oxygen.

While carbon stock assessments have not yet been carried out, Liberia’s forest is believed to store between 100 to 300 tons of carbon dioxide per hectare..... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100608com6.html


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