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Land management and avoiding deforestation

Deforestation is a significant source of carbon emissions in a few large tropical rainforest nations (for example D.R. Congo and Indonesia) and in low income countries, where it arises because of agriculture. Taking effective steps to avoid deforestation is complex. Finance attached to the REDD (reducing emission through avoided deforestation and forest degradation) initiative can in principle provide an incentive to stop unsustainable exploitation of forests. However, access and property rights to forest resources are often unclear, and policy makers must be careful not to exclude local, often marginalised groups. As a result, the best projects involve all relevant stakeholders. They also involve good monitoring, and check that they don’t result in the deforestation problem simply moving elsewhere (so called “leakage”). The complexity means that there is still a lot of experimentation and learning going on in this area.

Photo credit: Arne Hoel/World Bank