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January 19, 2007


Gareth Evans

The problem here is how to compensate people in developing countries for planting trees/maintaing current forest levels and offsetting our pollution.

Why should a person in a developing country not partake in economic activities when we have enagaged in economic activity that has caused pollution?

Sure, the forest maybe worth 5 times as much as a cleared forest, but I think that is an economic value. It includes externalities such as the cost of climate change, which is not easily quantifiable.

In terms of value to someone undertaking deforestation, the land is worth much more in revenues from its alternative use. For example They are able to make a living from herding cattle.

Compensate that person for the living (albeit short-term) they have lost from not participating in deforestation and you can protect the forests.

Providing alternative incomes and livings is difficult to do. Access to finance schemes may provide part of the solution.

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