Let's pay countries for having and preserving forests before we lose the Amazon and others

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The Amazon and other major forests are an asset for everyone of us.

We are expecting countries such as Brazil, Bolivia and others to maintain global resources such as the Amazon for us for free. This is both unrealistic and unfair. Logging, mining, etc. are activities which benefit the Brazilian and Bolivian economies. Protecting and maintaining the Amazon forest is a potentially huge cost, which should not be borne by these countries.

If we want the Amazon, and other natural resources, to be protected, we need to create the right economic incentives, we need to align the interest of Brazil and its people with that of the rest of the World. To do this, we need to do two things:

-        Create a global carbon tax, which imposes a contamination cost on goods which are less carbon efficient.

-        In parallel, give oxygen an economic value. Allow Brazil to export oxygen, at a price calculated per hectare of virgin autochthonous forest.

If the price is set right, this will not only incentivise Brazil to protect its forest, but also give other equatorial countries an incentive not only to protect theirs, but even to plant more, as freely growing forest will become a resource for the local economy, in addition to being a global resource. Local governments will ensure, if the price is right, that enough revenue is passed to land owners to ensure that they are motivated to protect, rather than destroy, the forest. This initiative could not only protect our forests, but also create a revenue opportunity for developing (and even developed) economies in Asia, the Far East and elsewhere.

Consumers that purchase carbon expensive goods will be incentivised to replace them for others, less carbon intensive, because of cost, the principal consideration to all consumers. Consumers that have land, as well as farmers, will consider planting local trees as a potential use of their resource.

If the Amazon is a global resource (and other major forests too) we cannot expect a single country to bear the cost of preserving it for all of us.

This is something the G7, and UN, must act on, before it is too late. Let's demand that our politicians institute a global carbon tax and a global price and market for oxygen.