30 Mar 2007

NZ academic says Australian forest plan needs link to Kyoto Protocol

5:48 pm on 30 March 2007

A New Zealand academic says the new 160 million-US dollar fund set up by Australia's government to tackle global deforestation in places like Papua shouldn't be seen in isolation from the Kyoto Protocol.

Australia's Prime Minister says the scheme, which will focus firstly on Indonesia where forests are being devastated in regions like Papua, will have a greater impact on climate change than the Kyoto Protocol.

Doctor Sean Weaver, a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Studies at Wellington's Victoria University, says the fund is a good initiative.

But he says the best outcome for the scheme would be for Australia to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

"And in fact if you want to get best value for tax payer money, it's good to use tax payer money as project development stage of a process which would then attract private secure funding. And a good way to attract private sector funding for forest projects and avoiding deforestation would be to enable deforestation projects to generate carbon credits for sale in the international carbon market."

Doctor Sean Weaver Weaver who with the help of British government funding is currently testing carbon crediting mechanisms for reducing forest-based emissions in Vanuatu.