Tropical deforestation due to poor land administration

How improved land administration can help putting a stop to illegal deforestation.

If tropical deforestation were a country, it would be the third-biggest emitter globally. Lower than the U.S. but higher than the EU. Much tropical deforestation results from forest fires: burning forests to make space for agriculture. Carbon stored in trees and soils goes up in smoke.

Illegal deforestation and poor land administration

Brazil is the country that loses most tropical primary rainforest. A structural problem in the Brazilian Amazon is poor land administration. Illegal deforestation goes hand-in-hand with fraudulent land titles and land speculation.

Break the crime cycle

Improved land administration can break the crime cycle. Forests managed by local (indigenous) people generally harbor more carbon and biodiversity than unprotected areas. A criminological pilot showed that when people have a stake in forest preservation, they actively protect rainforest. Improved land administration can thus become a strategy to halting tropical deforestation and global climate change.

Abroad

This article was published in Abroad edition September 2019. Read the complete Abroad.
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