Legal Contemplation of Tree Cuttings: International and National Aspects
Trees play a vital role in mitigating tree cuttings, protecting biodiversity, and in supporting the lives and livelihoods of indigenous peoples and local communities. The ability of forest ecosystems to fulfill these critical functions is increasingly threatened by deforestation and forest degradation driven by large-scale infrastructure projects and unsustainable logging. In order to address drivers of deforestation and protect forest ecosystems and people, there is an urgent need to ensure that international safeguards and standards associated with forest initiatives and activities are strong and well-enforced. The ultimate aim of CIEL’s work on forests is to strengthen implementation and enforcement of environmental and social safeguards to protect communities and the forests they live in while promoting policy coherence across major international institutions. Tree cuttings and deforestation accounts for nearly 20% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions in the world. Deforestation results in carbon emissions when trees and underlying vegetation are burning or decomposing. Providing incentives to prevent deforestation in foreign countries has been proposed in tree cuttings legislation. An objective of this legislation is to provide funding from carbon markets to assist foreign countries in reducing deforestation and increasing forest restoration and afforestation. Challenges to this approach include implementing deforestation reduction activities in developing countries that may lack the capacity to monitor and enforce measures, avoiding harm to indigenous communities who rely on forest resources, and matching policies with the various drivers of deforestation in different regions around the world. Legislative policies on deforestation and tree cuttings are analyzed in this report, and challenges for restoring forests in the tropics are discussed.