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UN-REDD Article Discusses REDD+ and Drivers of Deforestation

UNREDD Newsletter12 October 2010: Linda Rosengren, UN-REDD Programme, has authored an article on the drivers of deforestation, in particular agricultural expansion, and the role of REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, as well as the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks).

The article, published in Public Service Review: International Development, is titled "Drivers for Change." It distinguishes between immediate and underpinning deforestation drivers: the former including agricultural and infrastructure expansion and timber extraction; and the latter including demographic, economic, technological, policy and institutional, and cultural factors. Noting an expected increase in demand for agricultural products, Rosengren argues that there is a need to place value on standing forests, and proposes REDD+ as one such mechanism. She states that REDD+ payments will need to exceed the opportunity cost of cutting down trees, and that this cost will vary by country as agriculture is more profitable in some countries than others. She cites other factors, such as political stability, incentives and level of development and infrastructure, in determining the profitability of applying REDD+ in certain countries. Rosengren concludes by stating that deforestation drivers need to be analyzed and understood in order to maximize the benefits of REDD+. [The Article "Drivers for Change"]