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When it comes to saving the world's forests, Malaysian scientist Tan Sri Dr Salleh Mohd Nor has probably done more than any other University of Adelaide graduate in the past 50 years, the university's alumni magazine "Lumen" says in an article to mark the 2011 International Year of Forests.

The Colombo Plan scholar, who obtained a Bachelor of Science (Forestry) in 1964, is internationally renowned for his research work in tropical forests, particularly in the Asia Pacific region.

Read more: Malaysian scientist a green trailblazer

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2010 was one of the deadliest years on record for coral reefs. The Caribbean Sea just outside the Cancún climate conference offers evidence of global warming's negative effect.

This summer’s extreme heat may seem like a distant memory as winter approaches the United States. 

But the summer that broke heat records across the Northern Hemisphere is still being felt below the surface of the Caribbean Sea: 2010 will likely be one of the most deadly years on record for coral reefs.

Read more: Outside Cancún climate conference, Caribbean Sea testifies to global warming

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Cancún, Mexico – Last week, the COP 16 got under way with a welcoming ceremony hosted by Mexican President Felipe Calderón.

This year’ s climate summit — the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change or UNFCCC — could not be more different from last year’ s negotiations in Copenhagen. Unlike Copenhagen, with artic sub-zero temperatures suffered in few hours of scant of daylight, Cancún welcomed attendees to the summit with plentiful sunshine, clear blues skies and balmy temperatures in the 70s. Yet it’s not only the weather that contrasts.

While last year attendees — heads of state, negotiators, journalists, non-governmental organizations and activists — arrived in droves previously never witnessed for a climate summit, with 35,000 negotiators, journalists and observers attending the conference, and up to 100,000 attending the walk or demonstration, this year, far fewer are attending the conference this year with Mexican authorities estimating up to 22,000 people.

Although that might bode well for the collective carbon footprint, it does not bode well for securing an international legally binding treaty.

Countries have gathered together to achieve agreement on three goals: 1. Establish greenhouse gas (ghg) emissions reductions for developed countries; 2. Secure funding and technology transfers from developed countries to developing countries, to help them address and adapt to climate change; and 3. Decide on a method to monitor, report and verify (MRV) the agreed upon targets of an international climate treaty.

Read more: The Skinny on Cancún: What’s Happening at the International Climate Meeting and What’s at Stake?

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