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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
WWF report on the Amazon rainforests
Article Type: News From: Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, Volume 20, Issue 5
It has long been acknowledged that the rainforests are vital to the planet in terms of both their biodiversity and their influence on local and global climate. The difficult issue has always been to provide a commercial incentive for keeping the forests intact and standing, rather than felled for timber or converted to farmland. A new study by the WWF has found a way of quantifying the financial worth of the environmental services provided by the Amazon, which includes carbon storage, erosion protection and ecotourism. To date, the real monetary value of these services has rarely been realized due to the lack of appropriate financing mechanisms. At the same time, the revenue received is not often high enough to discourage unsustainable activities that lead to deforestation.
One of the most promising potential solutions currently under discussion is reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). WWF believes that REDD offers an opportunity to make forests more valuable standing – but any measures to reduce deforestation must still allow local communities access to vital resources which they rely on. Tackling the drivers of deforestation is also essential; companies need to play a role in the sustainable development of the Amazon – selecting their suppliers carefully and “decarbonising” their production chains. Consumers can also help by choosing to buy only sustainably produced goods – such as timber approved by the Forest Stewardship Council. Details are available at: www.wwf.org.uk/news_feed.cfm?2721/WWF-urges-new-approach-to-protecting-Amazon