Monday, August 16, 2010

Global warming: Aussie group to work with S’wak tribal leaders

Sun, 15 Aug 2010 11:23
By FMT Staff

KUCHING: Nine tribal leaders in Sarawak have signed an agreement with an Australian based grouping to certify carbon credits under the avoided deforestation program known as REDD+.

The agreement with the Indigenous Customary Land Owners of Sarawak will see Shift2Neutral, a grouping of individuals and companies committed to a sustainable future, work directly with the tribal leaders to achieve realistic change and ensure the protection of their native flora and fauna.

The move underscores regional concern over the increasing effects of global warming and the urgent need to save the world’s third largest island from indiscriminate deforesting.

“The immediate protection of tropical rainforests is critical if we hope to turn the tide on global warming, and the added benefits of conserving these sensitive ecosystems are immeasurable," said the group said in a statement issued recently.

The spokesman said via avoided deforestation, Sarawak could “ensure the protection of the carbon that is already stored in vegetation”.

"The cutting of forests releases billions of tons of greenhouse gases (from carbon stored in trees, plants and soils) into the atmosphere.

“Roughly 20% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions are caused by deforestation. By comparison, the entire global transportation sector is responsible for roughly 14% of annual greenhouse gas emissions,” the group said.

Explaining further, the group noted that Shift2Neutral believed that linking people's economic self-interest and the health of ecosystems was one way to generate interest in the conservation challenges facing the world today.

“We believe the business sector could pioneer new ideas, forge new partnerships and implement new solutions that will permanently halt unsustainable deforestation and allow the global society to protect the ecosystems.

“We believe this can be achieved with benefits to the local stakeholders.

“We must recognize the rights of indigenous peoples and the local communities involved," the spokesman said adding that "the total land area involved for the first phase alone more than 100,000 hectares or endangered forest.”

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