22 Dec 2009

Solomons says Copenhagen deal weakens forest protection

3:05 pm on 22 December 2009

The Solomon Islands ambassador to the United Nations says it's unfortunate the Copenhagen Accord has taken the wind out of the sails of the UN's programme to reduce emissions from forestry.

Ambassador Collin Beck says the accord says a lot about the UN programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries or REDD.

He says the accord promises predictable funding for REDD, which is designed to give people financial incentives not to cut down or degrade forests.

But he says the accord lacks authority because it was only noted by other countries.

"The accord came outside of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change process so it will not have UNCCC letterhead or UN reference on it. It's basically just a proposal by a group of countries."

Collin Beck says REDD is important because emissions from forestry contribute close to 20 percent of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.