"COPENHAGEN -- Saving tropical forests is crucial to fighting climate change but efforts to halt deforestation could go awry without safeguards to protect and compensate local communities, officials and academics said on Sunday. Forests act like 'lungs' of the atmosphere, soaking up large amounts of mankind's greenhouse gas emissions. Billions of people also rely on them for food and livelihoods. Paying developing nations to preserve forests is a central issue at U.N. climate talks in the Danish capital aimed at securing the outlines of tougher global deal to curb greenhouse gas emissions from 2013." David Fogarty and Sunanda Creagh report for Reuters Dec. 13, 2009.