Monday, November 16, 2009

New climate deal and protection of species

UN Climate conference in Copenhagen should not only result in new climate deal, but world leaders will also discuss how to cut deforestation in rainforests in developing world. Protecting rainforests from deforestation is of vital importance because of the two main reasons. First one is that rainforests absorb huge quantities of CO2, therefore decreasing climate change impact because of their excellent carbon sinking ability, and the second equally important factor is the fact that rainforests are areas with the richest biodiversity on our planet, areas that contain around half of all living species on our planet.

The global destruction of rainforests is causing about 18% of total global carbon emissions, and by protecting rainforests we could significantly ease climate change problem. By doing both, namely significantly reducing CO2 emissions that have their origin in fossil fuels combustion (vehicles, industry), and by halting deforestation world would be on the right track to protect our planet from the worst that climate change has to offer.

As said before rainforests are areas of the richest biodiversity on our planet, and by halting deforestation we will protect many animal and plant species that would otherwise disappear. However we should not forget about other forests that are low in carbon because if countries will only focus on cutting deforestation in the most carbon-rich forests (tropical rainforests), then it is likely that clearance pressures will shift to these low carbon forests that could experience tremendous biodiversity loss because these low carbon forests also present only home to many animals and plants. So governments need to be very careful and take into consideration all possible effects of climate deal in order to try to maximize benefits as much as possible.

The most difficult thing in this whole story is not only the number of ecological problems that world needs to solve as soon as possible but also the interconnection between all these problems. Climate change, loss of biodiversity, deforestation, pollution, all these ecological problems are not only problems of huge proportions but are also closely connected, so you can't solve only one without thinking about the effects this solution will likely have on other equally important problems.

World is facing a really big challenge, and world leaders will need all the help from scientists in order to figure out what solution would be the best for our planet. And yes, we do need immediate action and quick solution(s) because any delay makes this problems even more complex. This is really a situation where mistakes can easily happen, and any mistake in this situation is huge mistake because the stakes are really high. Hopefully world leaders are aware of that.

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