Last week the Prince Charles’ Rainforest Project launched its SOS campaign to raise support for a global effort to protect rainforests as a way to fight climate change.
The campaign includes a series of videos featuring politicians, business leaders, celebrities, environmentalists, and concerned citizens discussing why it is important to save rainforests. Each speaker shares the screen with an animated frog which serves as a charismatic symbol to engage the public.
The Prince’s Rainforest Project, launched in 2007, is promoting awareness of the role deforestation plays in climate change—it accounts for nearly a fifth of greenhouse gas emissions. The project also publicizes the multitude of benefits tropical forests provide, including maintenance of rainfall, biodiversity, and sustainable livelihoods for millions of people. But the initiative goes beyond merely raising awareness—it is pushing a plan to provide emergency funding to save rainforests. The money would provide a financing bridge for tropical countries to begin taking steps necessary to reduce deforestation—a prelude to a broader U.N.-backed mechanism (known as REDD for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation), which would compensate developing countries for their progress in protecting their forests.
“Rainforests are utterly essential in our fight against climate change,” said HRH The Prince of Wales in a statement. “They absorb nearly a fifth of all our carbon emissions and yet they are being destroyed at the rate of a football pitch every four seconds. To solve the problem, we have to find ways to ensure the trees become more valuable alive than dead so there is no incentive to cut them down.”
(08/20/2009) The weak definition of what constitutes forest under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) puts the effectiveness of a proposed mechanism for reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) at risk, argue researchers writing in the journal Conservation Letters.
(07/22/2009) Until now saving rainforests seemed like an impossible mission. But the world is now warming to the idea that a proposed solution to help address climate change could offer a new way to unlock the value of forest without cutting it down.Deep in the Brazilian Amazon, members of the Surui tribe are developing a scheme that will reward them for protecting their rainforest home from encroachment by ranchers and illegal loggers. The project, initiated by the Surui themselves, will bring jobs as park guards and deliver health clinics, computers, and schools that will help youths retain traditional knowledge and cultural ties to the forest. Surprisingly, the states of California, Wisconsin and Illinois may finance the endeavor as part of their climate change mitigation programs.
(06/09/2009) A global framework on climate change must immediately halt deforestation and industrial logging of the world’s old-growth forests, while protecting the rights of forest communities and indigenous groups, said a broad coalition of activist groups in a consensus statement issued today at U.N. climate talks in Bonn Germany. The statement said the successor treaty to the Kyoto Protocol should not include mechanisms that allow industrialized countries to “offset” their emissions by purchasing carbon credits from reducing deforestation in developing countries, a position that puts the coalition at odds with larger environmental groups who say a market-based approach with tradable credits is the only way to generate enough money fund forest protection on a global scale.
(06/05/2009) Selective logging, understory fires, fuelwood harvesting, and other forms of forest degradation are a substantial source of greenhouse has emissions, reports a policy brief issued by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) at U.N. climate talks in Bonn, Germany.