What are some suggestions for deforestation

New proposal against global deforestation

15.09.2006

New proposal against global deforestation
So far there has been no money to preserve existing primeval forests. Brazil now wants to change that and is proposing an international fund against the deforestation of tropical forests and thus for climate protection.

By Cris Vieira / Johannes Beck, Deutsche Welle, September 15, 2006

All countries that can slow down the clearing of primeval forests should receive money in the future. This is the core of the plan for a new international fund for the protection of tropical forests that Brazil would like to officially present in November 2006 at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Nairobi. The industrialized countries are to provide the money for the fund - voluntarily, mind you. The beneficiaries should be the developing countries, which can push their deforestation rates below a previously defined limit.

"Right from the start, a kind of current account is set up with the fund for each country. Depending on whether the deforestation rate in the country is rising or falling, the amount on the current account then goes up or down," explains Fernando Líryo from the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment. This should offer an incentive to preserve the forests in the future and thus to protect the world climate instead of cutting them down.

Just shift
However, environmentalist Carlos Rittl from Greenpeace Brazil is of the opinion that such a fund can only work if it is financially very well funded. There are a lot of countries like Brazil, Malaysia or Indonesia that are cutting down heavily and should be able to benefit from such a fund. But the Brazilian government also expects the fund to be successful with the planned voluntary payment by the industrialized countries. After all, numerous countries - including Germany - are already spending large sums on tropical forest protection. These funds would only have to be reallocated into the fund.

What the German Ministry of the Environment thinks about the Brazilian proposal could not be found out even after a request from Deutsche Welle. The Brazilian government itself was able to report positive news a few weeks ago. From July 2005 to August 2006, the deforestation rate in Brazil was reduced by 31 percent. However, more trees had been felled in the past few years than it had been for a long time. The current rate of deforestation also remains high: every year, an area of ​​primeval forests is lost in Brazil that is twice the size of Lebanon.

Wrong policy
Carlos Rittl from Greenpeace calls for more international support and more commitment from the Brazilian government. You have developed good programs to save the Amazon forests. However, environmental protection should not only remain a matter for the Ministry of the Environment. In all political decisions in Brazil, the environment must play a stronger role than before, explains Rittl and gives an example: "The Ministry of Agriculture should actually promote agriculture in the areas that have already been deforested. But almost nothing has happened there. The government gives more and more funds are used to promote agriculture without taking environmental issues into account. "

Greenpeace has long criticized the fact that new forests in the Amazon and the Pantanal are being cleared, especially for the cultivation of soy and cattle. Time is of the essence to stop the deforestation. Because the more trees are felled, the more greenhouse gases escape into the atmosphere - apart from the extinction of plant and animal species. In the past few decades, a total of 700,000 square kilometers of Amazon forest have been destroyed - that's eight times the area of ​​Portugal.