Forest Park accounts for one third of global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels in the atmosphere, according to an international study that warning, in parallel, on the dramatic consequences of deforestation in the context of global warming.
"If tomorrow we were to stop deforestation, forests and those existing at the stage of the reconstruction absorbs half the fossil fuel emissions," said Pep Canadell, co-author of the study published by the journal Science.
The world's forests absorb 2.4 billion tons of carbon per year, according to this first study quantified the contribution of boreal forests, tropical and temperate regions in the carbon cycle.
Deforestation, it is responsible for the issuance of 2.9 billion tons per year, about 26% of total emissions. Emissions from fossil fuels totaled, they, more than 8 billion tonnes a year.
The data, covering the period 1990 to 2007, were compiled for two years by an international team of climate experts.
The study showed for the first time in the tropics the amount of carbon emitted due to deforestation has been offset by that absorbed by the primary forest with intact, ultimately, a near zero carbon footprint. Researchers have shown that CO2 emissions in deforestation were offset by the absorption of CO2 by the regrowth of secondary forests in areas where farming was abandoned.
Canadell says, are two main lessons to be learned from this study.
"Forests are not only very significant carbon stores, but they also actively absorb the CO2 produced by human activities, as forests become more and more to center stage in a strategy to protect our climate," according him.
The second lesson is that the savings made possible through better management of the forest, especially by exploiting the benefits of reducing deforestation will be well "more important than what we thought." He emphasized the financial aspect in the carbon market and compensation provided for in the + REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest degradation).
This mechanism was formally adopted at the UN conference on climate in Cancun (Mexico) in late 2010. It aims to push countries with tropical forests to avoid cutting them or manage them sustainably, by paying them financial compensation.