Improved tropical forest management for carbon retention

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Putz, FE, Zuidema, PA, Pinard, MA, Boot, RGA, Sayer, JA, Sheil, D, Sist, P, Elias & Vanclay, JK 2008, 'Improved tropical forest management for carbon retention', PLoS Biology, vol. 6, no. 7, pp. e166.

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Negotiations leading up to an international climate change agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol in 2012 have included consideration of reduced emissions due to deforestation and degradation (REDD). This option has figured prominently in the “road map” toward such an agreement that was agreed upon during the 13th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Bali in December 2007 (http://www.unfccc.int/). Most ongoing discussions of REDD focus on tropical deforestation, while the potential carbon saving from reduced forest degradation is mostly disregarded [1,2]. Given that carbon losses due to degradation could be of the same magnitude as those from deforestation, this disregard is worrisome [3,4]. We show here that substantial reductions of global CO2 emissions can be achieved by improving forest management in the tropics, and argue that this cost-effective approach to mitigation should be included in the new climate change agreement....

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