​What is the real importance of forests around the world for climate change and for our CO2 emissions? These big questions will be put under the microscope when WWF Denmark allocates its research grants for 2011.

”Stopping deforestation is important for stopping the climate changes that have set the planet on a crisis course. In the rainforests there is also an enormous richness of animal species and biodiversity that we need to conserve. I’m looking forward to following the results of the research, which will help generate important new understanding,” says Gitte Seeberg, Secretary General of WWF Denmark.

The research projects relate to how we can conserve the rich biodiversity of forests and also how we can stop the deforestation that is taking place. Deforestation accounts for around 15% of the world’s total CO2 emissions.

2011 is also the UN Year of Forests, and Gitte Seeberg thinks there will be increased awareness of the importance of the world’s forests for wildlife and climate change.

WWF Denmark’s Scientific Committee has chosen the three projects that are to receive grant money. The WWF/Novozymes grant is awarded annually to researchers or PhD students wishing to conduct research in the area of wildlife and environment.

Novozymes founded on biodiversity
Per Falholt, Novozymes’ Executive Vice President, Research & Development, who takes part in the grant-awarding process, explains:

”Novozymes is founded on biodiversity. Based on the microorganisms that our researchers have found in nature, we produce enzymes that enable a range of industries to produce more with less use of energy, water, and chemicals.”

Life cycle assessments show that the use of Novozymes’ biotechnological solutions reduced CO2 emissions by 40 million tons in 2010. Denmark’s total CO2 emissions in 2010 were 58 million tons.

The official awarding of the grant will take place at WWF Denmark today.