Combating illegal logging is a key strategy for strengthening forest governance and eradicating forest-related corruption. This paper assesses how recent advances in forest monitoring, national regulations, and international cooperation have enabled more effective law enforcement measures, and identifies remaining challenges including illegal conversion of forests to agriculture, pervasive corruption, and the need for legal reform.
Hundreds of companies with exposure to deforestation driven by palm oil, beef, soy, or wood production have committed to eliminating deforestation from their supply chains by 2020. This paper reviews the coverage of those commitments, the dearth of information regarding their impact on deforestation to date, and the barriers and systemic challenges to effective implementation.
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. This paper focuses on the controversial issue of whether remaining intact forests should be opened for timber harvest as a way of providing incentives for limiting forest degradation and conversion to other land-uses.
Throughout the tropics, a growing number of states, provinces, and districts have embraced a jurisdictional approach to forest and land-use governance across a defined territory as a strategy to protect forests and reduce land-use emissions at scale. This paper discusses the opportunities provided by the jurisdictional approach, such as partnerships with supply chain actors and indigenous communities, as well as the challenges such as political turnover and limited public-sector capacity.
There is a wealth of financial data and corporate governance information available that can be used to hold companies accountable to zero deforestation commitments and for activities linked to legal and illegal deforestation. This paper shows how radical transparency techniques have the potential to hold companies accountable for illegal or unethical activities and argues that the full potential of transparency solutions has yet to be unleased.
Although the novel feature of REDD+— result-based payments at jurisdictional scales—remains largely untested, national and subnational REDD+ initiatives have made progress toward creating domestic conditions for addressing deforestation and forest degradation. This paper analyzes both national and subnational REDD+ initiatives to better understand lessons learned and how these lessons can support future forest-based climate change mitigation.
Recent analysis shows that forests are essential to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement, and contribute to climate stability through multiple pathways across local to global scales. This paper illustrates how reducing emissions from deforestation, enhancing the role of forests as carbon sinks through restoration, and recognizing the non-carbon pathways through which forests affect the climate are all elements of a cost-effective solution to climate change.
The tropics lost 15.8 million hectares of tree cover in 2017, an area the size of Bangladesh. That’s the equivalent of losing 40 football fields of trees every minute for an entire year!
Even though more and more companies are committing to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains, the tropics lost a Vietnam-sized area of forest in just the last two years. Why aren't forest protections working?
Brazil's semi-arid Caatinga region is a living laboratory for climate change impacts, with record-breaking droughts from 2010 to 2016. Local farmers are using landscape restoration techniques to boost climate resilience -- and are creating jobs for women in the process.
Rangers in Uganda take mobile phones and tablets on their forest patrols. But they aren't texting friends or playing Temple Run during downtime. They're following up on deforestation alerts generated by satellites circling the earth.
Satellite data reveals new deforestation in Colombia, Brazil and Indonesian Papua.
Community forestry has long been hailed as a strategy for reducing poverty and improving conservation by empowering communities to directly manage their forest resources, but it is a recent experiment in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A recent visit to North Kivu showed signs of progress.
DNA evidence often implicates violent criminals. Now it can do the same for poachers harvesting wood from protected forests.
China's tariff on U.S. soy could drive production to South America. Without precautions, deforestation could follow.
Sumatra's Leuser Ecosystem is the last place on Earth where rhinos, elephants, sun bears and orangutans live in the wild, but it's threatened by logging, road development poaching and illegal mining. Global Forest Watch works with local partner HAkA to protect this distinctive area's environment.
Cinderella’s job in the household included cleaning the ashes from the fireplace – exactly the role forests play for Earth by absorbing fossil fuels' carbon emissions. Yet much like Cinderella, forests remain underappreciated.
China, the world's largest importer and consumer of timber products, has emerged as a leader in global environmental governance. It still has an opportunity to match that leadership in global efforts to protect forests.
Small farmers could be key actors in reforming Indonesia's palm oil industry, which has been linked to child and forced labor, deforestation and the demise of iconic species like orangutans. But they can't do it without support from government and corporations.
From clean water provision to storm protection, forests provide benefits for everyone—even those who live in the concrete jungle.