Rainforests Still Fall at Shocking Rates

Summit proposes financial rewards for conservation efforts
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Feb 3, 2008 5:45 PM CST
The tropical rainforest of Braullio Carrillo National Park is seen north-east of San Jose, Costa Rica, Monday May 7, 2007. The U.S. and Costa Rican governments announced negotiations for $ 12.6 milion...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Rainforests continue to vanish at "alarming" rates worldwide despite decades of scientific warnings, experts say. Tropical trees are falling at 60 acres per minute—up 10 from a generation ago—accounting for roughly 20% of Earth's carbon emissions. Environmental leaders plan to preserve forests with a carbon trading system, but hurdles to success remain high, the AP reports.

The UN's carbon plan would give bonds to eco-conscious countries, which could then sell them for profit. But green schemes are tough to implement in poor nations, analysts say. "We breathe the air, and our bellies are empty," said one Nigerian plantation director. Meanwhile loggers and farmers are razing 50,000 square miles of rainforests per year, as scientists warn that the Earth's climate tipping point is but a decade away.