Agricultural commodity consumption and trade responsible for over 40% of tropical deforestation

An aerial photo near Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil. Photo by: Kate Evans/ CIFOR (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Agricultural commodity consumption and trade responsible for over 40% of tropical deforestation

This new Focali brief is written by Martin Persson, Sabine Henders and Thomas Kastner and is mainly based on their article: Trading forests: land-use change and carbon emissions embodied in production and exports of forest-risk commodities. Environmental Research Letters (in Press)

Commercial agriculture and timber extraction play an important role in causing tropical deforestation. However, information is scarce on the extent to which production and trade of ‘forest-risk’ commodities like beef, soy, palm oil and wood products are actually driving tropical forest loss. In a recent study the authors of this Focali brief show that in the period 2000-2011, the production and trade of four commodities in just seven tropical countries was responsible for 40 percent of global tropical deforestation and associated carbon emissions.

Download the brief here to find out more about the study and to read the authors policy recommendations.


In this video Martin Persson, one of the authors of the article and related Focali brief, share the key findings from their work. This video is a part of a video series with Focali members “voices from the Focali research network” produced ahead of Global Landscape Forum in Paris 5-6 December 2015. Focali will have a booth at the Global Landscape Forum in the Food Security Pavilion together with SIANI and SLU-Global where you can pick up at copy of this brief. Read more about Focali's activities at the forum here.



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