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Why Forests? Why Now? The Science, Economics, and Politics of Tropical Forests and Climate Change

Frances Seymour and Jonah Busch

(Center for Global Development, 429pp., 2016)

Tropical forests are an undervalued asset in meeting the greatest global challenges of our time—averting climate change and promoting development. Despite their importance, tropical forests are being destroyed at a high and even increasing rate in most forest-rich countries. The good news is that the science, economics, and politics are aligned to support a major international effort to reverse tropical deforestation.

Why Forests? Why Now? synthesizes the latest evidence on the importance of tropical forests in a way that is accessible to anyone interested in climate change and development and to readers already familiar with the problem of deforestation. It makes the case to decisionmakers in rich countries that rewarding developing countries for protecting their forests is urgent, affordable, and achievable.

With forewords by:

Alec Baldwin, Actor and international advocate for forests and indigenous peoples 

“International cooperation to protect forests is urgent, affordable, and feasible. . . . Why Forests? Why Now? should be mandatory reading for people who already care deeply about tropical forests, as well as for those who remain not yet convinced.”

Lord Nicholas Stern, IG Patel Professor of Economics and Government, London School of Economics and President of the British Academy

“Seymour and Busch make a compelling argument that rich countries should reward developing countries for their success in slowing deforestation. . . . It is a clear and sound application of the ‘Cash-on-Delivery’ approach to international cooperation promoted by . . . the Center for Global Development.”

Praise for Why Forests? Why Now?

Anyone who cares about climate change or sustainable development should read this book."
Erik Solheim, Executive Director, UN Environment Programme; former Chair OECD Development Assistance Committee

Seymour and Busch show how international support for efforts to stop deforestation can advance transparency and accountability, resulting in a triple win for sustainable development, climate stability, and good governance.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Minister of Finance, Nigeria

Why Forests? Why Now? provides a welcome source of optimism that deforestation can be tackled through complementary public and private sector action.
Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever

Seymour and Busch highlight an important achievement of global climate negotiations—agreement on cooperation to reduce tropical deforestation—and suggest an effective path for the realization of this goal.
Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

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