How to Help Brazilian Farmers Save the Amazon

How to Help Brazilian Farmers Save the Amazon

If tropical forests are to be protected, these kinds of financial incentives are imperative. Why? Consider the reality of the land market in the Amazon: An acre of cleared land is worth far more than an acre of forest. This means that farms that are mostly forested, as required by the law, are worth far less than farms that are mostly cleared. Forest-conserving farmers who are helping slow climate change because of the large amount of carbon contained in forest trees receive nothing in return.

This market reality has given an unfair advantage to farmers and land grabbers who succeed in avoiding law enforcement efforts to stop deforestation. They simply cut and burn large tracts of the forest illegally to grow crops or raise cattle, or to make a claim of ownership by showing productive use of the land.

Financial incentives could spur farmers to conserve more forest on their farms and to start reforesting along rivers and streams ahead of a 2040 deadline to do so.

This is where the California tropical forest standard comes in. It offers the potential for changing the incentives. The retailer Amazon, commercial airlines and dozens of other companies that are making similar pledges to climate neutrality could, through their purchase of carbon offsets, inject money into the tropical regions that are building their economies while protecting forests and recognizing the rights of indigenous peoples.

Read More At The New York Times

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