Carbon credits scheme hopes to protect forest

Madagascar, the island nation off the southeastern coast of Africa, will sell nine million tonnes of carbon offsets in a voluntary scheme to help protect one of its largest and most pristine forests.

Safeguarding forests is an important step in tackling global warming, since deforestation in the tropics produces about 20% of all carbon dioxide emissions. A UN report this week warned that Africa is suffering deforestation at twice the world’s average rate.

The Wildlife Conservation Society said proceeds from the sale of offsets would be used to protect the 400,000-hectare Makira Forest, which is rich in biodiversity and home to 22 species of lemur.

Reuters reported that the offsets were expected to sell over 30 years, with prices now at an average of between US$4 and $10 per tonne.

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