U.N. presses Latin American on forestry

Feb. 16, 2011 at 10:21 AM

MADRID, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- Countries in Latin America need to draft measures that protect their forests in line with environment agreements reached in Cancun, a U.N. official said.

The international community agreed on a deforestation and forest degradation agreement during an environmental summit in Cancun, Mexico, last year.

Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, said during a speech in Spain that countries like Brazil were committing financial resources to protect vulnerable forests.

"This is an encouraging example that merits duplication," she said in a statement. "Latin American countries need to seize this opportunity and craft forest-related policies on the national level that go hand-in-hand with the Cancun agreements so that the greatest benefits can be achieved."

The forestry measure is an effort to put a financial value on the carbon stored in forests. Developing countries are also encouraged to invest in sustainable development practices through forestry incentives, the U.N. climate group said.

"The sustainable use of forests has multiple benefits not only directly for forest-dependent peoples but also for a range of critical issues including biodiversity, climate change mitigation and adaptation," added Figueres.

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