Do Rainforests Grow on Money?

In an effort to halt the destruction of rainforests, increasing amounts of money are being offered to countries for preservation efforts. But some wonder whether throwing money at the problem will yield a solution.
December 11, 2010, 9am PST | Nate Berg
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These money-based efforts are called hasty by some who worry that funds will be misspent and possibly even exacerbate the problem.

"The first funds are ready for distribution to protect forests around the globe, and already the prospect has galvanized the foot soldiers of the newly established climate protection industry that trades in emission rights, administers funds and certifies so-called "'green' projects. The UN's chief environmental protection officer, Achim Steiner of Germany, is cautiously optimistic. 'REDD can be a part of the solution both for climate change and protecting the environment,' he says.

Others warn of the dangers of acting too hastily. 'No matter how well-intended they may be, quick solutions can be dangerous,' warns climate economist Reimund Schwarze of the Climate Service Center in Hamburg. He says that although the REDD program will inject billions of dollars into developing nations, the money may have exactly the opposite effect to the one desired. In other words, it could increase deforestation rather than halt it."

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Published on Tuesday, December 7, 2010 in Der Spiegel
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