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Tackling deforestation and building sustainable futures

The LEAF Theory of Change

The science is clear and the need is urgent. The climate crisis cannot be solved without halting tropical deforestation. Many factors drive deforestation, but the root cause is the lack of economic incentives to protect and restore forests. Tropical forest governments that successfully reduce deforestation do not currently receive financial benefits. Indigenous peoples and local communities whose livelihoods depend on the forests they inhabit receive no reward for their efforts to preserve some of the world’s most valuable carbon sinks. Conversely, many economic incentives exist to clear forests and put the land to other uses such as agriculture and mining.  The only viable way to halt tropical deforestation is to reverse these misaligned economic incentives, ensuring forests are worth more alive than dead. LEAF aims to mobilize public and private sector finance with forward purchase commitments to reward forest governments for reducing deforestation, while catalyzing a wider market for high-integrity forest carbon credits.

Image by Renaldo Matamoro

Driving action with the jurisdictional approach

Raising the funds at the scale needed is only a part of the solution. These funds must be channelled in a way that ensures real and additional impact on the ground. This can be achieved by working directly with governments who have the power to drive change. This ‘jurisdictional approach’ uses results-based payments, providing the economic incentives that will support forest governments to deliver ambitious programs to cut deforestation via:

Policies and legislation which address the causes of deforestation

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Active participation of Indigenous Peoples, ensuring their rights are respected and they receive a fair share of the rewards.

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Provision of financial incentives to landowners to protect forests.

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Enforcement of laws and regulations to prevent illegal deforestation.

LEAF aims to ensure the highest levels of environmental integrity & social safeguards.

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How LEAF works

Get Involved

Get Involved


Access our full list of LEAF documents and resources below:

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