Every year, more than 15 million hectares of tropical forest — an area larger than the state of New York — are cut down, releasing millions of tons of carbon emissions into the atmosphere.
Without action now, many of the world’s tropical forests will be lost by this century’s end. With these forests we will lose important species, natural resources and local livelihoods, as well as the opportunity to slow climate change.
In fact, recent studies show that activities to reduce deforestation are a highly cost-effective way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Consider the following:
A recent preliminary study suggests that the impact of reforestation on global temperatures varies depending upon the forest’s latitude. In the lower latitudes of the tropics, replanting forests offers a significant global cooling benefit relative to croplands or grasslands. However, at higher latitudes such as in the northern boreal areas, the climate change benefits from reforestation may be less than expected because of warming that happens when the sun's heat is absorbed by the dark forest canopy. Because of the preliminary nature of this study, we encourage more research, but are still using it to help guide our work.
Specifically the Conservancy focuses on the following activities when choosing forestry projects for climate change reduction:
August 31, 2011