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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 #d94feb143

Fifty countries that produce or consume tropical timber finally reached a compromise in January that renews the current International Tropical Timber Agreement, which expires in March. Negotiations had been stalled because producing (developing) countries wanted consuming countries to apply the same standards of sustainable forestry to their own forests in higher latitudes. However, consuming countries were only willing to make a non-binding commitment to harvest timber sustainably by the year 2000. They also agreed to create (but did not pledge money to) a fund to help producers of tropical timber meet forest conservation goals. See Intl. Environ. Rptr., p. 106, Feb. 9 and pp. 47-48, Jan. 26; Global Environ. Change Rep., p. 4, Jan. 28.

In an unrelated development with implications for world forests, France has cancelled half the debt it is owed by Camaroon in return for almost exclusive access by French companies to Camaroon's forests. Environmentalists consider this a bizarre reversal of "debt-for-nature" swaps and an example of how Third World countries are being forced to liquidate their natural resources. See New Scientist, p. 7, Jan. 29.

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