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Ending Tropical Deforestation: Intact Tropical Forests: Log Them or Lose Them?

Conserving and expanding global forest cover is widely accepted as necessary for climate change mitigation and other environmental goals, but the importance of forest quality is less widely recognized. Most tropical forests are affected by industrial logging, road construction, overhunting, and other causes of degradation. Intact forests— those that are free from degradation—maintain higher environmental values, including carbon density and biodiversity. There is heated disagreement over whether remaining intact forests should be opened for logging. Many argue that commercial utilization of forests is essential for development in tropical countries; that despite causing some damage, it helps protect forests from more severe loss of their environmental values by providing an alternative to conversion to agriculture. Others dispute the evidence supporting this view, arguing that logging causes unjustifiable environmental damage with minimal contribution to sustainable development. A focus of discussion is the prospective role climate finance can play in providing alternatives.

View the entire Publication Series: Ending Tropical Deforestation

Executive Summary

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