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[Duurzaamlijst] COP-6 and a climate saving reafforestation strategy

It seems highly relevant to start COP-6 with a review of 
recent findings about the probable development of climate in 
21th century, with a view on
(i). "business as usual scenario"
(ii). the Kyoto Protocols
(iii). A conscientious approach to stewardship on nature
       based on the precautionary principle.

Others may write more about (i) and  (ii), as UNFCCC has 
recently stated that global temperatures are now expected
to rise 10.5 degrees (F?) by the end of this century. 

So I will restrict myself to (iii), considering this increase 
unacceptable with a view on the temperature dependance
of hurricanes (will be born in areas with ocean surface 
temperatures over 27 degrees Celsius), reef bleaching 
and dieoff (typically at temperatures above 30 degrees 
Celsius) and melting of Arctic Polar Ice (to be a fact within 
20 years from now) 
And even worse: the higher the temperature of ocean 
surface, the less O2 and CO2 can remain in solution.
So if ocean life dies, CO2 will gas out to atmosphere.

The scientific basis of these facts might be reviewed
in the first three days of COP-6, and after that a discussion
about the business as usual approach, the effectiveness 
of the Kyoto Protocals and the relevance of Precautionary 
principle might start.

A basic problem at COP-6 is, how to stop an emission 
of about 6 Gigaton Carbon a year into atmosphere 
at shortest possible notice. This is about 22 gigaton 
CO2 a year.

This means, that three very different kinds of emissions 
should be stopped:
a. from fossil fuels
b. from land use (agriculture and urban environment)
c. from landchange use.

It is clear from rising CO2 levels, that current biosphere is 
UNABLE to absorb this 6 gigaton Carbon,
so we must create effective measures which ultimately 
prevent ANY CO2 emission by fossil fuels. 

These measures may at least  NEVER stimulate emission 
by land and landchange use.

The proposal is, when giving carboncredits to any industry who 
feels a need to emit CO2 from fossil fuels, to do it only 
when an equivalent amount is stored in such a way that it 
never gets back in atmosphere again. 

As biosphere seemed to be in equilibrium before
peatmining started in Europe in 11th century, we must be 
extremely reluctant in allowing the industry to buy Carbon 
Credits for storing Carbon in current biosphere.

The strategy should be, to restore biosphere which was 
present on our planet in the year 1000 AD as soon as 
possible and to devote some creative thinking to the 
problem how to get CO2 content at this preindustrial 
level of the year 1000 AD. 

These are not be the same problems, however, they 
might be interrelated.

Peatforests are storing carbon all the time, converting 
biomass into peat. So these peatforests are the most 
important "old forests" to protect. Kalimantan is very 
important in this regard.

However, all other forests should be protected as well, 
although they might be in a state of equilibrium only.
Perhaps they can be changed into peatforests by some 
changes in watermanagement.

So it seems appropriate to restrict the right to buy carbon 
credits for permission to release of CO2 from fossil fuels
only to the following cases:
1. maintenance and protection of Peat Forests
2. turning old forests into Peat Forests.
3. research and start-up costs for having forests grow where 
    they NEVER grew before and do it in such a way as to 
   cause them  to extend areal out of themselves.
4. Start-up costs for Urban Forestry.
5. reafforestation of area's which were deforested before 1992
6. fines and taxation for ANY deforestation in 21th century, that is
    after december 31, 2000

It is further my conviction, that artificial planting of forests 
never creates that sequestring power that natural growth

So the use and design of huge treeplanting machines to 
cover large areas with trees is not the solution, although 
these machines might be useful for small corridors along 
main roads. But not for large areas, as they tend to fix 
nature for decades in a non-natural way.

So if we wish to stimulate forest growth, then we must 
do so by stimulating natural processes of forest growth.
Forest wildlife, birds and insects have an important role 
which should never be overlooked - and once these 
processes of fauna mobilisation for forest growth are 
understood, forests might grow at much higher speed 
and less costs then doing it with the help of machines.
Costa Rica is gaining experience with this approach,
and Indonesia might be a.

Leonard Kater

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