Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Agriculture is the direct driver for worldwide deforestation

Date:
September 25, 2012
Source:
Wageningen University and Research Centre
Summary:
A new synthesis on drivers of deforestation and forest degradation was published during the Bangkok climate change negotiations. The report stresses the importance of knowing what drives deforestation and forest degradation, in order to be able to design and monitor effective REDD+ policies to halt it.

A new synthesis on drivers of deforestation and forest degradation was published during the Bangkok climate change negotiations in September by researchers from Canada and from Wageningen University, Netherlands. The report stresses the importance of knowing what drives deforestation and forest degradation, in order to be able to design and monitor effective REDD+ policies to halt it.

Agriculture is estimated to be the direct driver for around 80% of deforestation worldwide. In Latin America, commercial agriculture is the main direct driver, responsible for 2/3 of all cut forests, while in Africa and tropical Asia commercial agriculture and subsistence agriculture both account for one third of deforestation. Mining, infrastructure and urban expansion are important but less prominent drivers worldwide. It is concluded that economic growth based on the export of primary commodities and an increasing demand for timber and agricultural products in a globalizing economy are critical indirect drivers.

Degradation of forest means a decrease in quality of forest, and is in over 70% of cases caused by (commercial) timber extraction and logging activities in Latin America and tropical and sub-tropical Asia. In Africa, fuel wood collection, charcoal production, and, to a lesser extent, livestock grazing in forests are the most important drivers of degradation.

The synthesis report 'Drivers of Deforestation and Forest Degradation' sums up currently available knowledge from the literature on drivers, worldwide and by country, and gives recommendations to policymakers involved in the on-going international climate negotiations, as well as country-level plans and interventions. The viability of REDD+ depends on altering business-as-usual activity in sectors currently driving greenhouse gas emissions from forests, it is concluded. The report distinguishes between direct drivers, that directly cause deforestation and forest degradation, and indirect drivers, forces at the background such as changing market prices, population growth or policies and governance.

The report concludes it is important for forested tropical countries to regularly assess and monitor drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, in order to be able to design effective REDD+ policies. The types of drivers have great influence on the forest carbon impacts and the choice of data sources and methods used to measure them. Also, understanding forest change patterns and underlying causes are important for developing forest reference (emission) levels, necessary for REDD+ implementation.

Countries largely define REDD+ strategies and interventions to deal with national and local scale drivers, but face problems addressing international drivers and acknowledge that international pressure will increase. The report offers solutions for how countries can decouple economic growth from deforestation, investigating the range of options countries have to address drivers at various scales.

The report, was supported by the UK and Norwegian governments, is available at http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/11/tackling-climate-change/international-climate-change/6316-drivers-deforestation-report.pdf


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Wageningen University and Research Centre. "Agriculture is the direct driver for worldwide deforestation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120925091608.htm>.
Wageningen University and Research Centre. (2012, September 25). Agriculture is the direct driver for worldwide deforestation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120925091608.htm
Wageningen University and Research Centre. "Agriculture is the direct driver for worldwide deforestation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120925091608.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Hundreds of Thousands Hit NYC Streets to Protest Climate Change

Hundreds of Thousands Hit NYC Streets to Protest Climate Change

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) Celebrities, political leaders and the masses rallied in New York and across the globe demanding urgent action on climate change, with organizers saying 600,000 people hit the streets. Duration: 01:19 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rockefeller Oil Heirs Switching To Clean Energy

Rockefeller Oil Heirs Switching To Clean Energy

Newsy (Sep. 22, 2014) The Rockefellers — heirs to an oil fortune that made the family name a symbol of American wealth — are switching from fossil fuels to clean energy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Inside London's Massive Sewer Tunnel Project

Inside London's Massive Sewer Tunnel Project

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Billions of dollars are being spent on a massive super sewer to take away London's vast output of waste, which is endangering the River Thames. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Washed-Up 'Alien Hairballs' Are Actually Algae

Washed-Up 'Alien Hairballs' Are Actually Algae

Newsy (Sep. 22, 2014) Green balls of algae washed up on Sydney, Australia's Dee Why Beach. 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:
from the past week

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