Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Delegates inch toward biodiversity pact

Forestry takes centre-stage at U.N. talks on nature

* Marathon talks on nature turn to scheme to save forests

* Discovery of new Amazon species shows riches and risks

* World faces pivotal moment, Canada says

26 Oct 2010 - Delegates at a global U.N. meeting to preserve natural resources moved closer on Tuesday to agreeing ways to set aside about $4 billion to help developing nations save tropical forests, as studies highlighted the plight of nature.

The talks in the Japanese city of Nagoya are aimed at setting new 2020 targets to protect plant and animal species, a protocol to share genetic resources between countries and companies and more funding to protect nature, especially forests.

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates global deforestation fell from 16 million hectares (40 million acres) per year in the 1990s to 13 million hectares per year in the past decade, with the bulk of the losses in tropical countries.

Forests soak up large amounts of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, and help curb the pace of climate change. They are also key water catchments, help clean the air and are home to countless species.

"Our forests need immediate action," Brazil's Environment Minister, Izabella Teixeira, told the meeting. {read rest}

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