A group of equatorial African governments is set to argue in Copenhagen that the developed world should pay them to preserve their vast rainforests and help fight climate change. The central African region is home to the second-largest such forest after the Amazon. The rationale of these nations is that the developed countries are responsible for the bulk of greenhouse gas emissions, while African nations of the Congo Basin are not part of the problem -- only a part of the solution. They say demand for timber from the developed world is ultimately depriving millions of people who depend on the forests for their livelihoods, and that somebody has to pay the price for preservation. The forests act as huge carbon sinks, offsetting an estimated 1.7% of global emissions. But growing populations, expanding subsistence agriculture, mining and rising Asian demand for hardwood lumber have intensified the pressure. It sounds like Asian countries also need to pay their share. Read more: Reuters, Bird Life International
Ireland's population has still not recovered from the Great Famine.