Cutting Trees and Cutting Corners

by Patrick Shore

Around the world, deforestation is exacerbating climate change and disrupting the lives of people living in forested areas. Since the Paris climate meetings in 2015, multiple schemes and policies have been created to protect more forested areas around the world and to help forest residents displaced by deforestation. While these schemes seem mostly beneficial and functional on paper, they are well short of ideal. For example, in Madagascar have revealed that that the World Bank compensation funds intended for displaced people, are not reaching a large portion of them. The primary receivers of the money are the people easiest to reach physically who also tend to be wealthier and more well-connected; poverty-stricken people living in the deeper regions of forests where much of the logging is done are least likely to receive funds.

Compensating displaced people is a reasonable idea, but identifying the people who need it most is not so simple. Ironically, the same forest that is being protected, is also preventing it’s residents from being identified, located, and funded. Faulty and out-of-date maps used to locate recipients are a big part of the problem. While the idea was good on paper, it is not yet feasible in reality.

Kinver, M., 2016. Climate compensation schemes ‘failing to reach poorest’. BBC News


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