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> You can save twice as much of the world's forests if you act now



Durban - It is the destruction of forests can be halted by 2020, but delays to the action in this regard can double their loss in 2030 It is clear from the third chapter of the report of the international conservation organization WWF "Living Forests" called "Forests and climate," meeting launched a widespread climate of the United Nations in South Africa.
The document warns that the world could lose 55.5 million hectares by 2020 horizontal, and even to take urgent measures to reduce deforestation. If appropriate action be postponed until 2030 the world will lose 124.7 million hectares of forest.

Forests are vital to the welfare of people and wildlife, and global climate. Deforestation in turn increases the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, says the report by WWF. However, the delay of the measures would lead to additional loss of 69 million hectares of forest in the world and the release of at least 24 gigatons of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere over 2030 not including losses from forest degradation and carbon stored below ground. Currently 20% of global carbon dioxide emissions come from deforestation and forest degradation, which is more than the total emissions from transport worldwide.

The report also notes that afforestation is not a solution because new plants will not absorb enough carbon dioxide before 2040, to offset emissions released by deforestation.

"Our forests disappear, while we discuss how to save them," said Bruce clout-nail, program manager of the WWF on forests and climate. "The continuing loss of forests will have serious implications on climate, environment and livelihoods of millions of people. We are aware that we can not "wooded" solving the problem. We must act now to protect world's forests or lose it forever. "

According to WWF summit on climate change in South Africa provides a unique opportunity for governments worldwide to unite in their efforts to stop global deforestation. Expected at the meeting to adopt a plan under which developed countries would compensate developing financially, not to cut down their forests.

UN has developed a program for reducing emissions from deforestation and destruction of forests (known as REDD +). It is a unique opportunity to both fight climate change and the loss of forests. According to WWF governments should engage globally to tackle deforestation. The report "Living forests" found that it is not possible to achieve zero net loss of forests by 2020 without the implementation of REDD +.

"We are aware that negotiations are complex in Durban. But we must not squander the opportunities that REDD + gives us. If you take advantage of them, we both fight poverty and protect the climate. The stakes are too high to allow negotiations to be failed for technical reasons, "said Gerald Stiyndaledzhar of the" Forests and climate "of the WWF.

WWF calls on world leaders to adhere to the ambitious goal of zero loss of forests in 2020 report "Living forests" shows that this goal is achievable through better management, development and implementation of plans for sustainable land use, enforcement sector, development of improved systems of land use, transparent and comprehensive management and markets, which stimulate the development of sustainable forestry and agriculture.

The report also states that this objective should be given strong guarantees for the protection of biodiversity on the planet, while protecting the interests of local communities and indigenous peoples.

Considering how urgent need to halt the loss of forests, WWF calls on governments to provide the necessary financing REDD +. In this regard, highly developed countries should play a key role in the provision of adequate, predictable and sustainable financing schemes for REDD +. According to the report of the WWF 2020 needed 30 to $ 50 billion to achieve near-zero emissions from deforestation and destruction of forests.

Although large amounts are necessary if they are not provided, will be a substantial increase in long-term costs. The private sector may be in support of governments in this endeavor through the application of alternative financial instruments such as bonds forest.

The report "Living Forests" use model developed for WWF by the International Institute for applied systems analysis (IIASA). In essence, it addresses a number of different scenarios for the future of forests in the next half century, modified to change policies on biofuels, environmental protection and the demand for timber.


For more information:

- Melissa Tapar, a program for forests and climate of the WWF, +1 604 626 3441;
- Richard Maklelan, WWF, +41 79 786 9609,