The drivers and levers of deforestation

Multifunctional landscape Bac Kan Viet Nam (21)Logging, mining, construction and farming are some of the leading causes—or drivers—of the deforestation being witnessed throughout the developing world. These activities differ in scale, place and time, and they are changing even as efforts to combat forest loss gather pace.  But underlying these visible drivers are numerous influences that are less immediately apparent, including social, cultural and political issues, which are also shifting in time and space.

This complexity means that combating deforestation, which is claiming more than 13 million hectares annually, demands a holistic approach that integrates sound data and science, strong planning, social equity, and good governance.

In a packed hall of over 150 participants, Tony Simons, Director General of the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), moderated a Discussion Forum of Forest Day 6 that explored the complex relationships between and among deforestation drivers. The session delved into the options available to individual countries to reduce their CO2 emissions through maintaining forest cover, while at the same time meeting their development aspirations.

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