Delhi wins Bali green tussle
India manages a breakthrough by ensuring recognition for a need to compensate countries adopting strong conservation measures to reduce carbon emission.india Updated: Dec 19, 2007 00:58 IST
India has managed a breakthrough at the just-concluded UN Climate Change Conference at Bali by ensuring recognition for a need to compensate countries adopting strong conservation measures to preserve forests and reduce carbon emission.
The victory assumes significance as this is the first time the conference recognised efforts by developing countries to maintain and conserve forest carbon stocks.
Earlier, the conference had agreed to give incentives — called Compensated Reduction — to countries like Brazil for reducing carbon emissions from deforestation, but there was no move to compensate countries like India and China with a good track record of forest conservation.
After hectic backroom lobbying and arm twisting, the conference agreed on India’s submission on compensated conservation, which was backed by several other countries like China, Costa Rica, Thailand, Nepal and Bhutan.
“This is a big victory as it means that India and other countries with a good conservation record can hope to get compensated for preserving forests and reducing carbon emission,” said Jagdish Kishwan of the Indian Council for Forestry Research and Education, while talking to Hindustan Times.
Despite opposition from countries like Brazil, Kishwan and other Indian delegates were able to convince the conference on the need to adopt a comprehensive approach while dealing with the issue of reducing emissions through deforestation.
“We had been trying since the Nairobi meet to make the conference accept our views. This time, the support of allies like China helped and for the first time a comprehensive approach was taken,” said Kishwan.
According to studies, the forestry sector was responsible for nearly 20 per cent of carbon emissions globally mainly due to largescale deforestation taking place in countries like Brazil and Indonesia.
Two years ago, the conference agreed to compensate these countries if they agreed to bring down emission levels by reducing deforestation. But efforts of countries like India, which helps preserve carbon stocks by checking deforestation, were not taken seriously.
“While the focus was entirely on the 13.4 million hectares of forests lost every year, no one spoke about the 2.4 million hectares added annually largely due to steps taken by countries like India, China and Vietnam,” said Kishwan.