Parliamentary briefing note on Deforestation
- From Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST)
<One mention of biofuels and Gallagher Review>
"International attention is focussed on ways to reduce
deforestation, prompted by concerns over greenhouse
gas emissions and biodiversity loss. However the
underlying causes of deforestation are rooted in current
economic and development paradigms. This POSTnote
looks at the reasons why deforestation occurs and the
impact it has on the environment, as well as examining
policies to reduce it."
Deforestation contributes around 16% of human CO2
emissions and threatens to alter rainfall patterns.
The underlying causes of deforestation are the need for
economic development and governance failure. The
direct cause is normally conversion of forest land to
Deforestation has accompanied economic growth in
nearly all countries, but typically forest cover stabilises
as GDP per capita climbs above $5,000 a year.
Policies to reduce deforestation have been a
longstanding goal of the international community, but
have been ineffective to date. Current proposals will
need to provide an economic incentive to maintain
forest cover as well as to address other market and
Policies that improve agricultural yields and lower
demand for soy, beef, palm oil and wood products are
needed to reduce deforestation."