Tree Frog Forestry News

How to Make Money Off Rainforests Without Cutting Them Down

By Lucas Foglia
May 16, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

How do you save a rainforest? Create a national park, hardcore conservationists would say. That isn’t practical, though, if you’re a nation with 45 million acres of rainforest—an area about the size of Washington state—and a per capita income of just over $8,000 a year. “A tree left standing is not valuable to a family who can’t feed their children three square meals a day,” says Pradeepa Bholanath, head of planning and development for the Guyana Forestry Commission. With the help of international donors, Guyana, a country of fewer than 750,000 people, is pioneering an approach to protecting the trees that cover more than four-fifths of its surface. To make the rainforest last, it’s using it up slowly. Norway signed a deal with Guyana in 2009 offering it as much as $250 million to curb deforestation, and with it, climate change.

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