Skip to main content. Our Experts. Attend an Event. Connect with Us. For Media. Working Papers.
Tropical forests may be carbon sources, not sinks : Nature News & Comment
Recent work has suggested that tropical forest and savanna represent alternative stable states, which are subject to drastic switches at tipping points, in response to changes in rainfall patterns and other drivers. Deforestation cost studies have ignored the likelihood and possible economic impact of a forest-savanna critical transition, therefore underestimating the true social cost of deforestation. We explore the implications of a forest-savanna critical transition and propose an alternative framework for calculating the economic value of a standing tropical forest. Our framework is based on an average incremental cost method, as opposed to currently used marginal cost methods, for the design of optimal land-use policy or payments for ecosystem services. We apply this framework to the calculation of the social cost of deforestation of the Amazon rainforest. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Download Citation Data.
New global study shows 'best of the last' tropical forests urgently need protection
In: Science. Research Tropical Rain Forests. Do you think it is important to preserve these rainforests - and why?
Tropical forests around the world were destroyed at an increasing rate in compared with the year before, despite the global economic downturn caused by the pandemic, which reduced demand for some commodities that have spurred deforestation in the past. Worldwide, loss of primary old-growth tropical forest, which plays a critical role in keeping carbon out of the atmosphere and in maintaining biodiversity, increased by 12 percent in from , according to the World Resources Institute, a research group based in Washington that reports annually on the subject. Overall, more than 10 million acres of primary tropical forest were lost in , an area roughly the size of Switzerland.