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Stopping deforestation could net Burma $1 billion

Stopping deforestation could net Burma $1 billion

Stopping deforestation could net Burma $1 billion
November 6, 2006

Its status as a pariah state aside, Burma could earn hundreds of millions of dollars for cutting its deforestation rate under a carbon-trading initiative proposed by a coalition of developing countries and under discussion this week at U.N. climate talks in Nairobi, Kenya.

Burma, which is also known as Myanmar, has one of the highest deforestation rates in the world. Each year some 466,000 hectares of forest cleared are per year, according to U.N. data, contributing 32-93 megatons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Under a proposed carbon finance initiative, mitigating these emissions could be worth anywhere from $128 million to over a $1.8 billion to industrialized countries.

The way it would work is though the adoption of an “avoided deforestation” strategy to addressing carbon trading. By reducing deforestation that would otherwise occur in developing countries, industrialized countries could effectively “offset” emissions limits set under international agreements like the Kyoto Protocol. Money from industrialized countries would flow into forest conservation fund that Burma could drawn upon depending on its success in reducing its deforestation rate. The strategy could help fight climate change at a low cost while, at the same time improving living standards for some of the world’s poorest people, safeguarding biodiversity, and preserving other ecosystem services.

Carbon finance could boost per capita GDP in Burma from 5-20 percent.

This paper is based on an earlier article: Avoided deforestation could help fight third world poverty under global warming pact

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