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It is well documented that the expansion of commercial and subsistence agriculture is the main driver of deforestation worldwide, responsible for about 80 percent of forest loss. The extractive industries, however, also contribute to deforestation, at about 5 percent globally. Given the difference between these sectors, is it still worth spending valuable time and funding for reducing the impacts of mining on forests? Early results from a Program on Forests...
Most development projects start out with a particular assumption about scale: the first order of business is to run a pilot to test a particular intervention, and then, if the results are promising, go on to duplicate the intervention to reach a greater number of people.
This assumption makes sense in a good number of situations – but not always. For a PROFOR-supported research team looking at the practice of growing trees on cropland, the logical approach actually started with thinking big.
As team leader and World Bank Sr. Natural Resources Economist Diji Chandrasekharan explained, “...
When it comes to protecting our planet’s biodiversity, we can’t afford to not have a plan – especially where environmental impacts are inevitable.
In conservation, the “last resort” option is an approach known as biodiversity offsets. It involves preserving habitat in one area to compensate for unavoidable environmental damage elsewhere, usually as a result of large projects, such as those involving mining or oil and gas development.
“Offsets are based on the ‘mitigation hierarchy’ approach to environmental damage,” explained World Bank Senior Environmental Specialist Douglas J. Graham. “...
By Werner Kornexl
The more we know about our rapidly changing environment, climate, and demographics, the more we learn about how critical forests are for our resilience, overall wellbeing, livelihoods, and economies. Unfortunately, in a world of budgetary constraints and competing interests, governments face increasingly complex decisions when it comes to supporting different sector priorities. The solution is to move away from the traditional approach of sectors...
Q: What's better than having accurate, detailed and widely representative data?
A: Data that is accurate, detailed, widely representative - and frequent.
In fact, frequent data allows us to create not just a snapshot of our world, but to tease out complex patterns developing over time, and to make predictions into the future. This kind of information has never been more important for forests, which are at the heart of many sustainable development efforts, from the Paris Climate Agreement to the Sustainable Development Goals.
We know that forest resources are crucial to some...
Imagine that you’re standing in a forest. Far below your feet, there could be valuable oil or mineral deposits that are probably owned by a national government. The soil that you’re standing on belongs to whoever holds a title to that land – an individual, a corporation, a community, or a local or federal authority. But who owns the trees?
In Latin America the answer to that question is, increasingly, indigenous peoples and local communities. “There was a spike in the trend of transferring access and control of forest resources from governments to indigenous communities,” said Gerardo Segura...
This story was originally posted by the World Bank.
In West Africa, cocoa has been identified as a major driver of deforestation which has led to serious soil degradation, water insecurity and crop failures in the region.
To address these issues, governments and the private sector are becoming increasingly active on sustainability in the cocoa industry.
A new report describes overarching principles and key strategies that these...
It isn’t just our technology that cries out for “smart” solutions. The development challenges of an increasingly connected world demand ever more comprehensive answers – and forests are no exception. The risks to forested lands stem from multiple sources, from the development of mining and road infrastructure, to expanding agricultural production, to the growing demand for woodfuels. To address these challenges in a sustainable manner, we need to partner with leaders and stakeholders in other sectors to develop solutions that minimize or avoid damaging effects and enhance forests’...
More wood is consumed in Africa than in any other region – about 700 million cubic meters’ worth, most of which is supplied through unsustainable harvesting. While the largest demand is for fuel wood for heating and cooking, demand for timber products like furniture, doors and construction materials is also on the rise.
The countries of the Congo Basin are no exception to these trends. Unfortunately, these developments are placing increasing pressure on the region’s natural resources – including the world’s second largest...