New Report Calls Out Market-Based Schemes For Failing To Reduce Deforestation, Poverty

New Report Calls Out Market-Based Schemes For Failing To Reduce Deforestation, Poverty - Carbon Herald
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Market-based approaches for forest conservation, including carbon offsets and certification schemes, have been found wanting in a comprehensive global study, published by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), AFP reported Monday.

Drawing on extensive academic and field research, the report indicates that these mechanisms have made limited headway in curbing deforestation and, in some cases, exacerbated economic disparities.

The study, to be presented at a United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) event in New York this Friday, challenges the notion of market-based schemes as a panacea for environmental and social issues.

Lead author Constance McDermott from the University of Oxford suggests that while some individual projects may show promise, the overall impact falls short of expectations.

For instance, a $120 million initiative in the Democratic Republic of Congo restricted local access to forests without addressing logging by powerful corporations, perpetuating entrenched interests.

Similarly, indigenous groups in Malaysia, promised improved livelihoods from foreign-backed ventures, saw no tangible benefits.

Relevant: New Report Says Countries Are Over-Relying On Reforestation Rather Than Fossil Fuel Phase-Out

In Ghana, despite sustainable cocoa standards and carbon offset projects, deforestation rates rose while farmers’ incomes declined.

Moreover, green trade policies by wealthy nations, like the EU’s ban on deforestation-linked imports, overlook local consequences.

The report warns of the lack of accountability in market-based mechanisms, highlighting how failures disproportionately burden local communities while benefiting distant stakeholders.

Despite this, carbon markets are poised to expand into a multi-billion-dollar industry, particularly in Africa where leaders see potential economic gains.

Meanwhile, concerns persist regarding equitable distribution of revenue and the potential for exploitation.

Contributing author Maria Brockhaus from the University of Helsinki emphasizes the need for a “radical rethink,” advocating for holistic solutions that address underlying economic and governance challenges in forest management.

The report underscores the inadequacy of market-driven conservation efforts and calls for a more nuanced, comprehensive approach to safeguarding forests and promoting sustainable development.

Read more: New Research Uncovers Ineffectiveness in 25% of Carbon Offset Projects

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