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Forest transitions across ages and continents: implications for REDD

According to this paper, forest transitions across the world result from the relative strengths of causes favouring forest losses and gains, which are very context specific. The paper highlights that these transitions are led by a combination of one or more of the following factors: acute crisis of availability of forest goods and services; incentives for abandonment of marginal croplands; enhanced agricultural productivity; massive urbanisation; globalisation; demand displacement; agroforestry intensification; appropriate forest policies; aesthetics; enhanced public awareness; and legal imperatives. Popular discourse on REDD places high emphasis on poverty eradication, good governance, low corruption, restoration of land and human rights of indigenous people. The authors argue that these are important goals, but there is not much evidence that their successful pursuit would result in reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.