Amazon Could Lose More Than Half Its Forest, Group Says

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Earl Saxon, a climate change expert with the World Conservation Union, said the report was consistent with "all the best science" on the issue and recognizes there are "opportunities the delegation in Bali can take to protect the Amazon basin."

"What Will Happen"

However, Milton Nogueira, a Brazilian government consultant on climate change who is also part of his country's Bali delegation, said such predictions on the Amazon's future should be taken lightly given its "size and complexity."

"It is such a big, complex system that no one can predict what will happen," he said. "It is like you are looking at a blond and blue-eyed boy and saying he will be an Olympic champion."

In its report the WWF said saving the Amazon requires a shift to sustainable logging practices, implementation of land-use polices that are already on the books in the country, and the provision of money to developing countries including Brazil to reduce deforestation.

"We can still stop the destruction of the Amazon, but we need the support of the rich countries," said Karen Suassuna, a climate change analyst with WWF-Brazil. "Our success in protecting the Amazon depends on how fast rich countries reduce their climate-damaging emissions to slow down global warming."

Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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