Protected land status determines a forest’s fate

Amazon deforestation map by Carl Churchill

With a global initiative on deforestation announced in Glasgow Monday, there’s a spotlight shining on places like the Amazon.

Researchers say that land status, such as whether a swath of rainforest is within a protected reserve or recognized indigenous lands, can be the determining factor in deforestation.

Why it matters: Due to land clearing for agriculture or other uses, parts of the Amazon have already passed a tipping point from a net absorber of carbon emissions to a net source, and the pace of deforestation has increased in recent years, threatening the Paris Agreement’s temperature targets.

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