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Deforestation in Berau, Kalimantan, Indonesia Photo: Mahastra Wibisono, Newsweek
A new study published yesterday in the journal Science Advances found that in Indonesia, a country with bountiful but highly exploited natural resources, a national anti-poverty program also reduced deforestation as a side benefit. The program uses conditional cash transfers (CCTs) to elevate families over the poverty line, an increasingly popular way to provide assistance, conditional on taking specific actions related to education and health. As a result, families did not need to resort to clearing forests to make ends meet or grow more food during difficult times. The researchers compared satellite images of areas where the government made CCTs to those where they did not and found a distinct increase in forest cover in those with cash assistance.
When compared to the costs of climate change, the Indonesia program’s benefit of keeping Indonesian rain forests intact more than justifies it. One of the study authors argued in Science News that the economic benefits of saving the forests “justify the intervention.” It also demonstrates that a healthy environment and strong economy are not at odds with one another — it is possible to have both. One of the authors told Newsweek, “For decades, people have been debating whether alleviating poverty and protecting the environment are at odds with each other. Resolving this debate is important because lots of poor people are found in the same areas where we find the most endangered ecosystems, like the rainforest.”
by Julia Fine, ODP Contributing Writer Climate change is already causing flooding and heatwaves worldwide. Thankfully, one Dutch city has a plan to tackle it. Arnhem, the capital city of the province Gelderland, recently made a 10-year plan to re-landscape the city in order to deal with the impacts of climate change. As part of […]
A recent study published in Science found that a significant percentage of beef and soy exported from Brazil to the EU is connected with illegal deforestation.As YaleE360 reported that “as much as 22 percent of soy and 60 percent of beef…back to illegal tree felling and fires in the Amazon and Cerrado regions.”
Why This Matters: The study’s lead author Raoni Rajão said, “Until now, agribusiness and the Brazilian government have claimed that they cannot monitor the entire supply chain, nor distinguish the legal from the illegal deforestation.” This new study undercuts that idea, showing that Brazil can (and must) monitor agribusiness’ connections to illegal deforestation.
As the World Economic Forum recently wrote, miniature urban forests (often no bigger than a tennis court) planted using a method invented by a Japanese botanist in the 1970s are growing in popularity. Known as “Miyawaki” forests, these dense groups of trees are bursting with biodiversity and grow more quickly and absorb more CO2 than […]
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