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Setting forests aside in the tropics is helping to stanch the upward creep of global temperatures, according to new research, in addition to the benefits that parks and other protected areas provide for the wildlife and indigenous groups who depend on them.

“Tropical protected areas are often valued for their role in safeguarding biodiversity,” said ecologist Dan Bebber of the University of Exeter in a statement. “Our study highlights the added benefit of maintaining forest cover for reducing carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere, [which is] helping slow the rate of climate change.”

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