Demand for biofuels has grown rapidly in the past decade, driving conversion of forests to produce food-based feedstocks. This paper highlights three competing views regarding how substituting biofuels for fossil fuels affects climate emissions, and the role of accounting for indirect land-use change in biofuels policies.
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.
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.
Advances in satellite-based remote sensing and other technologies provide low-cost, frequently updated, and consistent information on the extent, characteristics, and changes in forest cover. This paper assesses the advances in national forest monitoring systems supported by REDD+, explores reasons why there is a gap between what is now technologically possible and what is practiced in tropical forest countries, and explains how proliferating data and methods are generating confusion and in some cases redundant investments.
This working paper explains how much and why results differ between nationally reported deforestation estimates and the Global Forest Change (GFC) tree cover loss data of Hansen et al. (2013).
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.