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Biofuel Plantations On Tropical Forestlands Are Bad For The Climate And Biodiversity, Study Finds

Source:  Copyright 2008, ScienceDaily
Date:  December 1, 2008
Original URL: Status ONLINE


Keeping tropical rain forests intact is a better way to combat climate change than replacing them with biofuel plantations, a study in the journal Conservation Biology finds.

The study reveals that it would take at least 75 years for the carbon emissions saved through the use of biofuels to compensate for the carbon lost through forest conversion. And if the original habitat was carbon-rich peatland, the carbon balance would take more than 600 years. On the other hand, planting biofuels on degraded Imperata grasslands instead of tropical rain forests would lead to a net removal of carbon in 10 years, the authors found.

The study is the most comprehensive analysis of the impact of oil palm plantations in tropical forests on climate and biodiversity. It was undertaken by an international research team of botanists, ecologists and engineers from seven nations.

"Our analysis found that it would take 75 to 93 years to see any benefits to the ...

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