Climate change and biodiversity loss are two of the most urgent threats facing life on Earth with profound implications for future generations.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), deforestation is the fourth-largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for five times more emissions than air travel. While about 8% percent of emissions arise from tropical deforestation, avoiding tropical deforestation and restoring the landscape can provide 23% of the cost-effective climate mitigation that is needed in this critical decade before 2030. Forest loss is, therefore, both one of the most significant challenges for stabilizing the climate and one of the greatest opportunities.
It is now widely accepted by the scientific community that we cannot achieve the climate stabilization goals set forth in the Paris climate accords without ending deforestation within this decade. This has been recognized by the world’s leaders: Over 140 of the world’s leaders signed the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use at COP26 pledging to end deforestation by 2030.
Yet the problem continues to get worse: recent research has shown that emissions from deforestation have doubled in the first two decades of this century. Rates of forest loss have continued to rise in recent decades, particularly in critical primary tropical forest landscapes in Brazil, Cambodia, Peru and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. To turn the tide on deforestation, immediate action is needed at an unprecedented scale and speed. Yet despite the commitments made at COP26 by, there is no clear plan for ending deforestation that takes aim at the root causes of forest loss.
While the specific agents and drivers of deforestation are variable across places and through time, the problem is fundamentally an economic one, as hundreds of millions of economically disadvantaged people, living in and near the primary tropical forests of the world, seek to meet basic needs. We believe that achieving a deforestation-free world will require a fundamental transformation of the economic relationship between people and the forest, one where the decision to keep the forest standing becomes a reliably better economic and social choice than cutting it down. The key to that transformation lies in creating compelling new economic value from conservation for forest communities and local governments in threatened forest landscapes.
A model of local, community-based conservation that, through the voluntary market, delivers financial proceeds to forest stakeholders for their effective conservation efforts. This approach is based on the UN mechanism called “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+).” The long-term goal of REDD+ projects is to address the actual and potential drivers of deforestation by delivering financial proceeds to forest stakeholders for their effective conservation efforts.
Project-based, community-centered REDD+ is a proven model, one that is ready to scale with the speed needed to address the climate and biodiversity crises. Please see the REDD+ Impacts, Project pages, and The Forest Plan sections of this site for more information on the impacts of REDD+.