ScienceDaily (Sep. 25, 2012) — A new synthesis on drivers of deforestation and forest degradation was published during the Bangkok climate change negotiations in September by researchers from Canada and from Wageningen University, Netherlands. The report stresses the importance of knowing what drives deforestation and forest degradation, in order to be able to design and monitor effective REDD+ policies to halt it.
Agriculture is estimated to be the direct driver for around 80% of deforestation worldwide. In Latin America, commercial agriculture is the main direct driver, responsible for 2/3 of all cut forests, while in Africa and tropical Asia commercial agriculture and subsistence agriculture both account for one third of deforestation. Mining, infrastructure and urban expansion are important but less prominent drivers worldwide. It is concluded that economic growth based on the export of primary commodities and an increasing demand for timber and agricultural products in a globalizing economy are critical indirect drivers