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Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999



Item #d93jul74

Negotiations to renew the International Tropical Timber Agreement by 1994 collapsed once again in Geneva in late June, because timber-growing countries in temperate regions refuse to be bound by the same conditions that tropical countries follow under the present agreement (New Scientist, p. 7, July 3). At a meeting the week before in Helsinki, European countries rejected a target of using only sustainable timber by the year 2000, although in a surprise announcement the U.S. committed itself to that goal (ibid., p. 9, June 26).

The difficulty of accurately determining the rate of tropical forest loss is the topic of a feature article in Science News (pp. 26-27, July 10), which discusses estimates by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, Brazil's space agency (INPE), NASA in the U.S., and the World Resources Institute. One very recent estimate finds that the rate of deforestation in Brazil is roughly half of previous estimates, although the loss of biological diversity is greater. (See: "Tropical Deforestation and Habitat Fragmentation in the Amazon: Satellite Data from 1978 to 1988," D. Skole (Inst. Earth Oceans Space, Univ. New Hampshire, Durham NH 03824), C. Tucker, Science, 260(5116), 1905-1910, June 25, 1993).

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