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Deforestation Conference Deemed A Success

March 12, 2010

Morale was high and more than $1 billion was raised to fight deforestation during a one-day climate change conference held in Paris on Thursday — a stark contrast to the disappointment and discouraging Copenhagen talks just a few months ago.

After French President Nicolas Sarkozy opened the conference by describing his frustration with December 2009′s United Nations (UN) emissions conference, considerable progress was made in Paris, as a 10-nation panel was established to help oversee the distribution of funds and plot strategy leading up to this year’s UN climate change summit in Cancun, Mexico.

A reported 64 countries attended the conference, including representatives from Indonesia, the Congo, and the Amazon Basin hoping to preserve their woodlands. Among the other topics covered during the Paris conference was the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD), a program which will provide monetary incentives to any country that works to cut emissions, maintain their forest landscapes, and encourage biological diversity.

According to Associated Press (AP) writer Elaine Ganley, deforestation “is thought to account for up to 20 percent of C02 released into the atmosphere — as much as that emitted by all the world’s cars, trucks, trains, planes and ships combined.”

A follow-up meeting of these same 64 nations has been scheduled for this May in Oslo, Norway. For now, though, many of the participants, including Brazilian Environment Minister Carlos Minc, are labeling Thursday’s session a success.

“We entered the meeting with $3.5 billion. It went to $4.5 billion (here) and we want to arrive in Oslo with $6 billion,” Minc told Ganley afterwards, adding “we will arrive in Cancun with things that work. We won’t repeat the problems of Copenhagen.”

Image Caption: Jungle burned for agriculture in southern Mexico. Courtesy Wikipedia

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