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 and their ecosystems 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 over the next five years 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.
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Frances Seymour is a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and a senior adviser to the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. In 2014 France named her Officer of the Order of Agricultural Merit. Jonah Busch is a research fellow at the Center for Global Development. He is the lead developer of the OSIRIS suite of open-source software tools for mapping the benefits and costs of alternative policy decisions for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+).