Our most potent strategy for fighting climate change and saving biodiversity costs the least. Because tropical forests are located in the developing world, costs of acquirig, protecting, restoring and stewarding tropical forest lands are generally super-low compared to industrial and technological emissions reduction solutions (clean tech).
Tropical forest conservation is often doable at a cost of around $1 per acre and tropical forest restoration generally requires just purchasing devalued lands and utilizing onsite resources; very inexpensive, rapidly effective.
My survey of twenty of the most urgent tropical forest conservation projects of 2015 showed that for a total (tax deductible) investment of approximately $12M a single donor would have protected, in perpetuity:
- Trillions of microbial species
- Tens of thousands of insect species
- +65,000 plant and animal species
- +250 indigenous communities (+53,000 people)
- +11 million acres of life-essential ecosystems, in 13 countries
- +9 million tons of annual greenhouse gas sequestration. equivalent to taking approximately 2 million US cars off the road for life
- +2 billion tons of forest stored CO2 from atmospheric release — nearly 1/3rd of US greenhouse gas releases in 2014.
By comparison, in FY2015 the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) loaned out $2.3B to reduce CO2 emissions by roughly 250 million tons over the next 25 years. The tropical forest conservation investments shown above keep +2 billion tons of greenhouse gasses out of the atmosphere over the same time period and deliver urgently needed, systemic benefits for 99.5% less money.
Here are three one-minute YouTube examples of the above:
Your comments and questions welcomed and appreciated.