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Harrison Ford Joins Guyana President In Call To Protect Forests

CaribWorldNews, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. Sept. 22, 2009: Hollywood actor, Harrison Ford, yesterday joined Guyana President, Bharat Jagdeo, in calling on the UN to protect the world`s tropical forests.

The two reiterated that saving the world`s forests was the quickest and most cost effective way to tackle climate change.

Ford joined Jagdeo in front of a stunning installation of life-size origami trees and wildlife to call on world leaders attending the UN General Assembly 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 attended by Ford and organized by Conservation International and Team Earth in Greeley Square, New York City the day before the opening of the UN General Assembly.

 The life-size origami trees and wildlife, symbolizing Guyana`s massive and immensely important forest, was created on site over two days, and then partially destroyed – as a statement about loss of the planet`s forests – by world-renowned origami artist Dr Robert J. Lang.

More than 80 per cent of Guyana, 13 million hectares or an area approximately the size of England, is still covered with intact tropical rainforest.

`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,` said Harrison Ford, who has been a board member of Conservation International for 15 years. `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.`

 `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 per cent of global emissions – but has also reduced the earth`s ability to remove CO2 from the atmosphere,` said the President.

`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 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.`

Immediate and adequate funding for countries developing forest protection strategies as part of their low carbon development plan is critical, added Jagdeo.

The President`s address followed the launch of Team Earth, a cross-sector collaboration bringing together businesses, politicians, scientists, non-profit organizations, educators, individuals and children.

The Team Earth event featured CEOs including Howard Schultz from Starbucks and Fisk Johnson from SC Johnson and Co making commitments to forest conservation.