Meeting at UN, tropical rainforest countries urge action on climate change

Meeting at UN, tropical rainforest countries urge action on climate change

Meeting at the United Nations, a group of countries which share about half of the world's tropical rainforests today urged measures to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Meeting at the United Nations, a group of countries which share about half of the world's tropical rainforests today urged measures to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The leaders from Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Gabon, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and Peru were attending the high-level meeting on climate change convened by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and adopted a joint statement on their shared concerns.

They resolved “to enhance cooperation among countries blessed with a wealth of tropical rainforests.”

The countries pledged to promote sustained economic growth, sustainable development and eradication of poverty while intensifying collective efforts for the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests.

The statement emphasized the “primary responsibility of industrialized nations for the current atmospheric interference leading to global warming.”

Forests “play a crucial role in maintaining ecological balance as sinks, sources and reservoirs of greenhouse gases,” the coalition of countries pointed out.

“We are committed to cooperating among our nations to slow, stop and reverse the loss of forest cover and to promote the rehabilitation of degraded forest lands, forest management and conservation.”

They called for efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and “for protected areas to be given special consideration by the international community.”

Looking ahead to the 2012 expiration of the Kyoto Protocol, the legally binding pact for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the countries pledged to ensure that forest issues are addressed at planned talks in Bali, Indonesia aimed at producing a successor agreement.

“Fully cognizant of the value of intensified and sustained dialogue and cooperation, we commit ourselves to strengthening the bonds of friendship and cooperation among the Governments and peoples of the tropical rainforest countries and invite other tropical rainforest countries to actively participate in this cooperative endeavour,” the statement said.