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forests

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Guyana's abundant forest resources, encompassing 85 percent of its land area at the heart of the Guiana Shield, represent the largest remaining intact tropical forest frontier in the world.

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Tropical forests are vanishing at alarming rates throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and their many contributions to huan welfare are being undermined. Despite increased efforts to stem deforestation, recent findings indicate that the problem is getting worse.

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As the 21st Century approaches, the world is being impoverished as its most fundamental capital stock--its species, habitats, and ecosystems--erodes. Not since the Cretaceous era ended some 65 million years ago have losses been so rapid and great.

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Under current national income accounting practices, assets such as buildings and equipment are valued as productive assets and depreciated over time; natural resource assets are not. This asymmetry is the way national assets are treated sends misleading signals to policymakers.

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This report summarizes forest and crop damage in the United States and Europe, examines the evidence connecting it to air pollution, and recommends that emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, and hydrocarbons be significantly reduced and non-fossil energy sources introduced.

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Throughout much of the developing world, accelerating deforestation is laying waste to vital economic assets, destroying fragile soils, and driving wild species to extinction. In industrialized countries as well, forests are imperiled by pollution and contested by conflicting uses.

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