Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Was Jewish pensioner's murder religiously motivated?

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Death toll rises in Boko Haram attack in Nigeria, World Hepatitis Day and exploring France's black communities with Christin Bela

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Scaramucci's uncensored rant

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Jerusalem tensions - what does it mean for the region?

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: The plight of Cairo's street children

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

All or nothing: Paris dreams of hosting 2024 Olympics

Read more

ENCORE!

A regal renovation: France's Chateau de Chambord gets a makeover

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Amazon follows through on investment plans despite big profit drop

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

A presidential fairy 'tail': Meet Tory, South Korea's new 'First Dog'

Read more

Religious leaders join forces to protect rainforests

© AFP/File | Scientists say the razing of tropical rainforests has devastating effects on climate change

OSLO (AFP) - 

Religious leaders around the world met Monday in Oslo to urge further efforts to fight deforestation that is wiping out thousands of square kilometres of rainforests each year.

Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist and Jewish leaders are meeting indigenous people affected by deforestation as well as experts on climate change and human rights over three days to devise an interfaith action plan for 2018.

It is thought to be the first time leaders from the world's major religions have joined forces to protect tropical rainforests, "the most diverse, unique nature system on Earth", said Lars Lovold, director of Rainforest Foundation Norway.

Rainforests are refuges of biodiversity that regulate the climate and serve as home for "millions and millions of forest-based people", he added.

While the rate of deforestation has slowed considerably in recent years, seven million hectares (70,000 square kilometres) of tropical forest were lost between 2000 and 2010, an area nearly the size of Ireland, according to figures from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Aggressive palm oil and soybean production, cattle farms, mining companies and the forestry industry all contribute to the deforestation, which in turn has devastating effects on climate change, scientists say.

"The Paris Agreement is doomed if deforestation continues," Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment Vidar Helgesen said Monday, referring to the 2015 COP21 accord under which 195 states have pledged to curb greenhouse-gas emissions to keep global warming to under two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) from pre-industrial levels.

This month US President Donald Trump announced the United States' withdrawal from the agreement, a move that critics said could have a wide-reaching adverse effect on the environment as well as on Washington's international relations.

"The world's religions, each in its own way, ground a moral call to action to protect tropical rainforests," said William Vendley, secretary general of Religions for Peace.

© 2017 AFP