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As part of its initiative on Tropical Forests for Climate and Development, the Center for Global Development is producing a book entitled Why Forests? Why Now? The Science, Economics, and Politics of Tropical Forests and Climate Change.  Co-authored by senior fellow Frances Seymour and research fellow Jonah Busch, the book will make the case that tropical forests are essential for both climate stability and sustainable development, that now is the time for action on tropical forests, and that payment-for-performance finance for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) represents a course of action with great potential for success.

Why Forests? Why Now? will draw on original research, synthetic reviews, and national case studies supported by commissioned background papers and CGD’s own research. The content will cover the science, economics, and politics of forest conservation and finance to underscore the urgency, affordability, and feasibility of scaling up funding for reducing deforestation, particularly through performance-based approaches.

  • The Science – deforestation as a source of climate emissions, development benefits provided by intact forests, and advances in forest monitoring technologies;
  • The Economics – the affordability of mitigating forest-based emissions compared to other options, contributions of forests to developing economies, and what is known about what drives deforestation and how to stop it.
  • The Politics – the politics of international cooperation to reduce tropical deforestation, with a particular focus on constituencies for performance-based finance in relevant policy arenas at the international level, within selected rich countries, and within forest countries.

The publication of Why Forests? Why Now? is projected for 2016, with intermediate communication products and research to be released throughout 2015. This research will also support the activities of a Working Group convened by CGD to identify practical ways to accelerate performance-based finance for tropical forests in the lead-up to COP 21 in Paris.

Click here for a list of all papers in the series.