Indiana Jones’ star fights for South America’s tropical forests

A Hollywood movie star and the president of Guyana have called on the UN to protect the world's tropical forests as the quickest and most cost effective way to tackle climate change.

Indiana Jones star, Harrison Ford, joined Guyana’s president, Bharrat Jagdeo, in front of a installation of life-size origami trees and wildlife to call on world leaders attending the UN General Assembly in New York to provide developing nations with funding to allow them keep the planet’s tropical forests standing.

The president’s address was the centerpiece of a major media event organized by Conservation International and Team Earth in Greeley Square, New York City before the opening of the UN General Assembly today (22 Septemnber).

Mr Ford, who has been a board member of Conservation International for 15 years, said: “By having the foresight to recognize that serving the needs of the planet could also help the people of Guyana, President Jagdeo is helping to change the way that we think about economic development and climate change.

“We are calling on leaders attending the UN General Assembly to follow Guyana’s lead and help to ensure that they support a finance package that keeps the world’s forest standing at the Copenhagen climate talks in December.”

Mr Jagdeo said: “In the year since I last came to New York to call for forest conservation, the world has lost an area of forest the size of my entire country.

“This has not only released more CO2 into the atmosphere than every motorized vehicle on the planet–around 20 percent of global emissions–but has also reduced the earth’s ability to remove CO2 from the atmosphere.

“This has not happened out of malice or ignorance, but because most of the world’s forested nations have no alternative but to generate income by cutting their forests.

“Guyana has offered a solution with our plan for low carbon development, and the leaders who will meet at the UN this week have an unprecedented opportunity to put the planet on a new path, where protecting forests is more economically prudent than cutting them down.”

Luke Walsh

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