Who pays?

In general, those countries which are deforesting the most tend to be those with the worst economic problems: they cannot afford the necessary long-term measures. If the global community expects them to save their forests, then who should pay, how much and what form should the ‘payment’ take?

Click on each of the different issues on the cash register to find out the pros and cons of each - the question mark returns you to this page.


There are also some more problems affecting these solutions! find out more about population and lack of control

Totally protected forests?
saves a lot of wildlife, but only if areas are large enough
preserves ‘environmental services’
poorer countries can’t afford guards, rangers etc. ? who pays?
loss of homes and traditional ways of life
poorer countries can’t afford to have unproductive land ? who pays?
a few local jobs, but not for women or the elderly.
Charge for ‘environmental services’?
local, watershed protection, prevention of soil erosion and flooding
people most at risk often too poor to pay
those affected might think it fairer for them to be paid compensation for damage caused by felling than to pay to preserve the forests
Global, climate regulation (by carbon sequestration), preserving biodiversity ? who pays
Population Pressure
World population has doubled since 1960. On 12th Oct 1999, the UN declared symbolically that it had reached 6 billion with the birth of a baby in Sarajevo. More people means more food, fuel and minerals needed and more land for settlements.

Population estimate as of now! - this is an estimate which updates itself every time you update this page. You can see another version of this counter at this website.

Lack of Control
Any solutions to the problem of disappearing forests need long-term commitment and control by the government of a country. Some governments do not have the money, or the knowledge or the political and administrative systems to manage their forests sustainably. They are city based and may not understand the problems or the needs of the forest people and will have many other pressing priorities. With large sums of money to be made from logging concessions, corruption may also be a major problem.
Sustainable logging?
unlikely to be profitable in the short term
land rights often not secure
enough for long-term investment ? who pays?
doesn’t help immediate economic problems
preserves lots of wildlife
preserves environmental services
provides jobs, but few for women or the elderly
needs good management, training, skills, knowledge ? who pays?
preserves some traditional ways of life
Timber plantations?
more liable to disease, pests and fire
support relatively little wildlife
could be planted in degraded areas but should not replace natural forest
local jobs, but few jobs for women or the elderly
no homes or traditional ways of forest life
needs start-up money and it is a long time before investment pays off ? who pays?
would allow other forests to be strictly preserved
Non timber forest products and agroforestry?
preserves homes and some traditional ways of life
preserves some wildlife, but depends on how intensive the system is
needs good management, training, skills, knowledge, ? who pays?
unlikely to earn enough on its own
provides jobs for both men and women and the elderly
preserves environmental services

Better Prices for Producers?
customers pay more for sustainably produced timber and NTFPs ? who pays?
need to convince buyers and public by campaigns ? who pays?
lower tariffs and preferential market access ?
would be considered unfair competition by other timber producers
subsidise production ? who pays?
less pressure on forests ? could help preserve environmental services, homes and traditional ways of life
preserves some wildlife