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Underlying Causes of Forest Loss

Deforestation and forest degradation can be successfully tackled, and forest conservation and restoration enhanced, by tackling the real underlying causes of forest loss. These include reducing demand for wood and land, and supporting cultural values, Indigenous territories, and community conserved areas.

GFC aims:

  • To raise public awareness on the importance of addressing the underlying causes of deforestation and forest degradation
  • To build capacity amongst all relevant actors in analyzing and addressing the underlying causes of deforestation and forest degradation
  • To develop and implement, in an open and participatory manner, solution-oriented approaches towards addressing the underlying causes of deforestation and forest degradation.

There is a particular need to integrate forest conservation and restoration strategies with sustainable livelihood strategies in line with the Millennium Development Goals and the proposed Sustainable Development Goals, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the outcomes of the Cochabamba-based World Peoples’ Conference on Climate Change.

Furthermore, the current vogue for Payment for Environmental Services schemes implies that forests can only be conserved when landowners are adequately compensated financially. But case studies by the GFC show that a more effective approach would be to stem international demand and develop a system of rewards focused on fostering and stimulating traditional value systems and providing alternative livelihoods. Integrated strategies that support sustainable livelihoods are also more financially sustainable than PES schemes.

Some of the most effective strategies do not need significant amounts of funding. Rather they require a political commitment to really making a difference, and a sustainable approach to forest ecosystems that builds on the rights, needs and cultural value systems of Indigenous Peoples and local communities.

For the publications on Underlying Causes of Forest Loss go to Resources.

The Devastating Plantation Plans of the World Bank Forest Investment Program

By Simone Lovera Sometimes you expect the worst, and you are not disappointed. When the World Bank Forest Investment Program (FIP) was established 6 years ago, we were skeptic to say the least, as Global Forest Coalition. The World Bank had funded (and continues to fund) numerous projects with a devastating impact on forests and forest dependent peoples. Putting them in charge of what is until now the largest global fund to invest in projects to reduce emissions from deforestation …

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When Hope Avenges Mistrust

By: Miguel Lovera Ever since I read the masterpiece by Jan Ziegler “La Suisse Lave Plus Blanc” (“Swiss Whitewash”) in the early ‘90’s, I started to suspect that there was…

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Comments on FSC at Risk: Greenpeace Progress Report

This post is a reflection from one of GFC members on Greenpeace’s Progress Report on the Forest Stewardship Council which can be found here: During the 20 years since the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)…

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A Pathetic REDD Package

On 12 November 2013, the Global Forest Coalition made the following intervention during the negotiations in Warsaw on methodologies to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation and enhance forest…

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