Environment

Paying to Clear-Cut the Rain Forests

In the last few years, as climate changes continues to become more severe, there has been a growing push for rich countries to pay poorer ones to preserve and protect rain forests and other tropical forests.

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However, according to a new study in Nature Ecology & Evolution, RIHN Associate Professor Keiichiro Kanemoto and Senior Researcher Nguyen Tien Hoang show that other financial motives, namely international trade, with these same rich countries have actually encouraged poorer countries to increase their annual deforestation levels from 2001 to 2015.

Every year has brought more catastrophic news on climate change. Islands in the South Pacific are disappearing, and Siberia is on fire. Radical changes are coming in our lives and lifestyles, but the most important in lowering our global environmental footprint. One effort for this cause is reducing the amount of deforestation.

Forests cover nearly one third of the earth’s land area. Moreover, tropical forests are estimated to provide the habitat of anywhere between half to 90% of all the terrestrial species. They are also home to an unknown number of pathogens that escape with deforestation, which can explain some of the epidemics seen in recent years. Frustratingly, despite their importance for both human and ecological health, forests are being brought down at an alarming rate because of their valuable land for mining, farming and other commodities.

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