Based on more than a decade of in-depth research on the forces driving deforestation worldwide, the report by researchers at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) found that there is ample opportunity to reduce carbon emissions if financial incentives will be sufficient enough to flip political and economic realities that cause deforestation.
The report was released today at the United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP-13) in
"After being left out of the
…According to CIFOR, careful examination reveals that complex, indirect forces are often more important than the logging and slash and burn activities popularly understood as the main causes of deforestation. Forces such as fluctuations in international commodity prices; agricultural and, more recently, biofuel subsidies; and roads and other infrastructure projects can encourage forest clearing. Deeply ingrained and routinely corrupt government practices often favor large corporate interests over community rights to forest resources.
…Most importantly, CIFOR advises decision makers to learn from the past and look beyond the confines of the forestry sector to the array of market failures and governance failures that spark a chain of events culminating in deforestation.
…Markku Kanninen, one of the authors of the report, said that "Policies that seek to halt deforestation will need to be crafted to address diverse local situations and target activities in areas such as agriculture, transportation and finance that lie well beyond the boundaries of the forest sector." "The perverse subsidies that provide incentives for clearing forest must be removed and efforts to secure property rights for local forest communities should be encouraged," Kanninen said.
The report also sees promise in the increasingly popular notion that deforestation can be addressed with financial incentives that compensate landowners for "environmental services."
…Appealing as they are,
Finally, the report calls for ensuring that the REDD process is fair to poor forest communities. "We need to temper the desire for maximum reduction in forest-based carbon emissions with regard for the legitimate rights of forest communities to realize the income potential of their forestlands,"