“With this new scientific consensus and reconciliation between our two independent studies, policymakers now have an unbiased, historic benchmark against which emission reduction targets for tropical deforestation can be set and progress can be measured,” said Nancy Harris, lead author of the WI study and a Carbon and Land Use Specialist at WI.
Alessandro Baccini, lead author of the WHRC study and an Assistant Scientist at WHRC, said, “Both initial studies offer insights into different ways to measure tropical deforestation. But the fact that we were able to reconcile these different studies across very different sets of data and methodologies, should provide remarkable reassurance to policymakers that they can act with science on their side.”
Tropical deforestation and degradation are considered significant contributors to the greenhouse gases that cause climate change. Efforts to enact REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) policies and programs are aimed at ensuring retention of carbon stored in forests, forest conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks, along with other initiatives.
The analysis was jointly funded by the Government of Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI) and the Climate and Land Use Alliance (CLUA).