by Staff Writers
Manila (AFP) July 25, 2013
The United States will help preserve the Philippines' rapidly vanishing tropical rainforests under an $31.8-million debt-to-aid conversion signed in Manila on Thursday, the two governments said.
Payments on debt owed by the Philippines to the US Agency for International Development will be redirected to starting a tropical forest conservation fund, a joint statement said.
The fund would provide grants to conserve, maintain and restore still substantial forest lands in five regions of the archipelago.
"In addition to helping to preserve the Philippines' extraordinary terrestrial biodiversity, the fund will contribute to international climate change mitigation efforts," the statement said.
US-based environment group Conservation International lists the Philippines as one of 17 "mega-diversity" countries that together have more than two-thirds of earth's plant and animal species.
However the Philippines is also considered a biodiversity hotspot due to rapid harvesting or conversion of its forests to farms or other uses.
The Philippine government says the country lost half its forest cover over the past 100 years, and is down to 7.6 million hectares (18.78 million acres).
Forestry News - Global and Local News, Science and Application
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|