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Poverty reduction saves forests sustainably: Lessons for deforestation policies

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  • Miyamoto, Motoe

Abstract

Efforts to reduce deforestation are increasing worldwide through the implementation of climate change mitigation schemes and have recently been promoted as one of the goals of the United Nations’ 2015–2030 Sustainable Development Goals. However, existing strategies are associated with high costs, low effectiveness, and potential adverse economic impact on tropical countries and local people. Moreover, because the underlying causes of deforestation are not clearly understood, the policy options that would be most effective in halting deforestation are not known. Therefore, in this study, I examine the main factors influencing forest area change by synthesizing the results of a multinational data analysis, a Malaysian socio-economic survey, and Indonesian household surveys on deforestation that were conducted between 1990 and 2014. I reveal that poverty has a strong impact on forest area change and that high agricultural rent accelerates deforestation. I then use logical equations based on my own findings and those of previous studies to represent the relationships between deforestation, poverty, agricultural rent, and forest scarcity. From these equations, I derive clear and reasonable explanations for the causes of deforestation and assess the effectiveness of various policies and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation strategies to halt deforestation. I suggest that poverty-reduction strategies can represent sound and effective methods for reducing tropical deforestation. These findings will facilitate development of sustainable strategies that will both reduce deforestation over long term and reconcile forest conservation with social welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Miyamoto, Motoe, 2020. "Poverty reduction saves forests sustainably: Lessons for deforestation policies," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:127:y:2020:i:c:s0305750x1930395x
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2019.104746
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