23 Dec 2009

PNG expert spots forestry gain in Copenhagen deal

3:08 pm on 23 December 2009

A Papua New Guinea climate change spokesperson says the Copenhagen Accord will boost efforts to reduce emissions from forests, which account for up to 20 percent of greenhouse gases.

Many Pacific countries have spoken out against the accord, which was agreed to by the major emitters.

But it does promise substantial finances for REDD-Plus, the UN programme to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

Kevin Conrad, the climate change special envoy to PNG's Prime Minister, says that will help with the development of the programme, which will offer financial incentives to conserve forests.

He says negotiations on REDD had been stalled before the accord, but now there is money to develop the scheme.

"We spent a lot of time with the United States, and the United Kingdom and Germany trying to determine exactly how much was needed over what timeframe. And we've negotiated about 3.5 billion US dollars to get started."

Kevin Conrad says forests need to be made more valuable alive than dead, so communities in countries such as PNG will stop cutting them down.