Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Saving forests? Take a leaf from insurance industry's book

Date:
April 18, 2012
Source:
University of Adelaide
Summary:
A group of environmental scientists say a problem-ridden economic model designed to slow deforestation can be improved by applying key concepts from the insurance industry.

A group of environmental scientists say a problem-ridden economic model designed to slow deforestation can be improved by applying key concepts from the insurance industry.

Related Articles


REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) is a UN-promoted scheme that allows countries to trade in carbon credits to keep forests intact. It is mainly targeted at developing nations where deforestation and exploitation are a major threat.

In a paper published online in the journal Conservation Letters, ecology researchers from Australia and South Africa argue that REDD projects can suffer from three major problems. They have proposed strengthening the scheme by using insurance policies and premiums, creating a new scheme known as iREDD.

"The idea of paying a nation to protect its forests in exchange for carbon pollution offsets can potentially reduce overall emissions by keeping the trees alive, and ensure a lot of associated biodiversity gets caught up in the conservation process," says Professor Corey Bradshaw, Director of Ecological Modelling at the University of Adelaide's Environment Institute and a senior author of the paper.

"However, there are three main problems with REDD: these are known as leakage, permanence and additionality."

Leakage -- "This occurs because the original forest area that was targeted for protection under the agreement remains intact, but the deforestation that would have otherwise occurred merely gets shifted to an adjacent forest, so the net effect is the same. It results in biodiversity loss and no emissions reduction," Professor Bradshaw says.

Permanence -- "This problem occurs because there is no guarantee that your investment -- the forest -- remains intact for a sufficient period into the future to account for the carbon being offset."

Additionality -- "This a way of describing 'what would have happened anyway'. In other words, if a particular area of forest was never targeted for deforestation, then being paid to maintain it is a false investment because the service was never in any real danger."

Professor Bradshaw and colleagues from James Cook University and the University of Pretoria have suggested using a form of REDD 'insurance policy' (iREDD) to avoid these problems.

iREDD involves the buyer and seller together assessing the risk in a forest conservation project, agreeing on that risk and then purchasing an insurance policy scaled to that risk.

"iREDD can be used to ensure that both the seller and the buyer are protected. In this case, the seller represents those who manage the forests, and the buyer is the company, nation or individual who wishes to buy into the forest for its carbon offset potential.

"In this scheme, everyone wins," Professor Bradshaw says.

"If the sellers fail, then the buyer is compensated and can invest elsewhere. If the sellers do well, they get more money. Most importantly, it increases the probability that atmospheric carbon will be reduced -- or at the very least, the rate of emissions will be slowed -- and the forest's associated biodiversity will remain, protecting thousands of species against local extinction."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Adelaide. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Penny van Oosterzee, James Blignaut, Corey J. A. Bradshaw. iREDD hedges against avoided deforestation's unholy trinity of leakage, permanence and additionality. Conservation Letters, 2012; DOI: 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2012.00237.x

Cite This Page:

University of Adelaide. "Saving forests? Take a leaf from insurance industry's book." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120418111808.htm>.
University of Adelaide. (2012, April 18). Saving forests? Take a leaf from insurance industry's book. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120418111808.htm
University of Adelaide. "Saving forests? Take a leaf from insurance industry's book." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120418111808.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) EU leaders achieve a show of unity by striking a compromise deal on carbon emissions. But David Cameron's bid to push back EU budget contributions gets a slap in the face as the European Commission demands an extra 2bn euros. David Pollard reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A rare tornado ripped roofs off buildings, uprooted trees and shattered windows Thursday afternoon in the southwest Washington city of Longview, but there were no reports of injuries. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fast-Moving Lava Headed For Town On Hawaii's Big Island

Fast-Moving Lava Headed For Town On Hawaii's Big Island

Newsy (Oct. 24, 2014) Lava from the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island has accelerated as it travels toward a town called Pahoa. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins