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13.8 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions could be mitigated through afforestation, reduced deforestation, and forest management by 2020 (IPCC 2007).


Land clearing is responsible for an estimated 5 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions per year. The primary drivers of deforestation and the release of other terrestrial stored carbon are:

  • logging (planned commercial and illegal),
  • agricultural plantation development,
  • urban and rural development,
  • ranching,
  • conversion of natural forest to industrial tree plantations,
  • oil and gas exploration,
  • mining.

A major problem contributing to deforestation is the existing valuation methodology framework for natural capital. Natural capital can be broadly defined as ecosystems, biodiversity, and natural resources that underpin economies, societies and individual well-being. Natural capital (biodiversity, and natural resources such as clean water) are undervalued externalizations in our economic markets, although they support a constant supply of economic resources that are valued, such as wood fiber production, pollination, agricultural production, medicines, and clean water.


Slowing down and ultimately reversing emissions from forestry activities requires a combination of three distinct approaches:

  • reducing the current drivers of deforestation through shifts in agricultural production of commodities
  • mobilizing investment into the protection of standing forests
  • mobilizing investment into sustainably managed forests.

Help us continue our research and identify opportunities; join our Forestry LinkedIn group and engage with our community.

There is no Planet B™
Carbon War Room in association with Elsevier Biofuel TechSelect Go to the Carbon War Room website