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Madagascar: how to save a forest

Anjali Nayar, an International Development Research Centre fellow at Nature, recently visited a pioneering project in Madagascar that’s aiming to protect one of the country’s few remaining forests. About 90% of the species in Madagascar’s rainforests are found nowhere else on Earth, but efforts to save the island nation’s forests are about more than conserving biodiversity.

It’s hoped that projects like this will provide a model for efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation. Under a proposal, known as reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD), wealthy nations could meet their emissions targets in part by buying carbon credits from developing countries such as Madagascar. REDD is one of the topics up for discussion at the UN climate-change conference in Copenhagen this December. Countries will negotiate whether REDD should be included in the global climate deal that takes over from the Kyoto Protocol.

But as Anjali reports, to be successful these projects must overcome the poverty and political upheaval common to most developing countries. Read Anjali’s full report here. Or see a slideshow video version, here.


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