Global conservation group WWF that it will now support a scheme to compensate tropical nations for reducing carbon dioxide emissions by reducing deforestation and forest degradation, Mongabay.com reports.
The group’s president told a gathering, which included Al Gore and Wangari Ma’athai, that WWF would not oppose efforts to include forests in international climate negotiations.
“The Amazon, if it were a country, would be in the top seven emitters of greenhouse gases in the world,” Carter Roberts said.
“Unless the world has policies that recognize that value of standing trees and forests, we will have failed.”
“WWF was pivotal in keeping forests out. We have changed our position,” he added.
The news was welcomed by groups pushing forest conservation as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Tropical deforestation and degradation accounts for a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than the entire global transportation sector.
Some economists say that “avoided deforestation” represents one of the most-effective means for cutting emissions of heat-trapping gases, while many environmentalists see the concept as offering the best hope for saving endangered tropical forests.
WWF had opposed forest conservation in climate talks due to concerns over monitoring and implementation as well as a desire to focus on reducing industrial emissions.