The UN climate change meeting in Bali last year endorsed the idea of forest protection being included in the successor to the Kyoto Protocol — benefitting rainforest nations.
But the declarations made at the meeting did not say how forests should be protected, and this is now being hotly contested.
Options include incorporating them into carbon trading schemes or tackling deforestation with an international fund.
Satellite monitoring now offers rainforest nations the ability to quantify their own deforestation and reforestation rates for carbon trading, say advocates of market approach.
But the European Commission has proposed a ban on forestry carbon credits until 2020, fearing such moves would flood the carbon market. Instead, they propose to siphon some of the carbon market proceeds into programmes to tackle deforestation.
Brazil supports the idea of an international fund but looks to be alone among rainforest nations. While it could help build deforestation-monitoring infrastructure in developing nations, most want in on a market already worth tens of billions of dollars a year.