30 Aug 2006

Pacific countries join Rome talks on greenhouse gases

1:54 pm on 30 August 2006

The 15-strong new international group set up to fight global warming is to hold its first major meeting in the Italian capital, Rome, later today.

The Coalition for Rainforest Nations was conceived by the Papua New Guinea prime minister, Sir Michael Somare, as a response to the greenhouse effect.

The group was formed at the UN climate change summit in the Canadian city of Montreal in December last year.

Sir Michael wants rich countries to pay poorer and heavily-forested nations not to chop down their trees.

He argues the carbon credit payments will help offset rising emissions of greenhouse gases, by preserving rainforests, which convert carbon dioxide back into oxygen.

The workshop in Rome includes delegates from Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

They'll discuss their countries' experiences of changes in forest cover and share information on rates of deforestation.

Also on the agenda is a discussion on how effective this strategy will be in reducing carbon emissions.