Uncharted Forests Preservation
Emrick: These projects demonstrate a way in which funding for tropical conservation can be realized without having to use tax payer dollars. So the people or industries that are potentially polluting with carbon dioxide are actually paying for the tropical conservation to offset their pollution.
They’re called Carbon Offset Projects, and they enable companies which pollute to pay for the preservation of tropical rainforests around the world. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.
Emrick: Forest carbon offsets may be the single greatest funding source for tropical forest conservation going into the future, especially since developed country’s governments having less and less money to put towards conservation projects.
Verl Emrick is a research scientist at the Conservation Management Institute at Virginia Tech. He and his team have been in the Peruvian Amazon, determining the amount of carbon in local forests carbon which would be released into the atmosphere if the trees were to be cut down.
Emrick: In addition to calculating the carbon in the forest, it’s necessary for these projects to qualify under certain standards that you show both a positive benefit to the local biodiversity and the local communities
The owners are going to supply medicines to the local health center; they are going to provide a system for clean water and they will also provide other education opportunities to the local citizenry if they receive these carbon dioxide benefits.
Now a valid criticism of this particular way of paying for tropical conservation is that people are still polluting. Now, I think that it’s still a net benefit in the sense that there are going to be many of these projects occurring simultaneously so the net tropical conservation benefit is definitely going to be positive.
I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.