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As we near the end of 2009, two issues are dominating the media — emissions trading legislation and the climate  change summit in Copenhagen. HSI has been fully involved in both these processes. Our concern has been to ensure that these legal tools deal effectively with the protection of natural habitats and ecosystems. Nearly a quarter of the world’s carbon emissions come from the destruction of natural habitats and in particular tropical forests. In Australia, land clearing is the fourth largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, contributing 11% of our total national emissions.

HSI will be in Copenhagen as a founding member of the Ecosystems Climate Alliance (ECA) working to ensure as far as possible that the new regime will effectively protect “intact” forests, and that landowners in Australia who forego the right to clear native vegetation, can receive credits under any new Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. Habitat protection has never been more important, and the role of WLT members in the overall scheme of things never more timely.