Forests are of vital importance both to reducing poverty and tackling climate change.
More than 1.6 billion people depend to some degree on forests for their livelihoods, many of them the world’s poorest people.
Deforestation generates almost a fifth of carbon emissions. It is the third largest source of greenhouse gas emissions – larger than the entire global transport sector. The Eliasch Review recommended that deforestation should be halved by 2020 and that the global forest sector should be carbon neutral by 2030.
Douglas Alexander, International Development Secretary, said about the Review:
“With more than a billion of the poorest people on our planet dependent on forests to provide them with a livelihood, today’s report highlights the challenges we face in reconciling the short-term interests of individuals with the global challenge of tackling climate change.”
Forests are being lost at a rate of 13 million hectares a year because the environmental benefits they provide are not valued and they are worth more when converted to agriculture. Poor governance and lack of knowledge and institutional capacity are contributory factors.