Agriculture and REDD+. The main driver of deforestation and a key sector for successful implementation of REDD+
Current knowledge surrounding REDD+ suggest most GHG emissions in tropical countries are related to directand indirect drivers related to agriculture. This reporthighlights the potential of sustainable agricultural intensificationand value chain efficiency to reduce pressure onforests when given the appropriate policy framework andgood forest governance conditions.
While agricultural expansion has been the largest driverof tropical deforestation, global food production suffersfrom less than adequate corresponding growth. This suggests that agricultural value chains are still inefficient in many regions and there is large untapped sustainable intensification potential.
Synergies may exist between sustainable intensification ofagricultural production, diversification of income options and climate mitigation through forest protection. The best mix of management options depends on regional andcountry-specific circumstances.
Clear policy and institutional frameworks are neededto enable synergetic opportunities. Agricultural intensificationis not a standalone panacea. We recommend fourpathways to delink agricultural production and deforestation:
1. Decouple agricultural growth from agricultural areaexpansion
2. Connect institutions and sectors for integrated ruraldevelopment
3. Connect land users with information providers
4. Promote private sector engagement
Different levels of progress in countries engaged with REDD+ provide lessons for how to increase bothagricultural production and forest protection along thefour pathways described in this report. Brazil emerges as a well-documented and promising case, whichprovides examples for other tropical forest countries tofollow.
German development cooperation should put a stronger focus on sustainable agricultural intensification and ruraldevelopment in a holistic landscape approach in order totackle the parallel challenges of forest protection and agriculturalsector development. Entry points are suggestedalong the four presented pathways for further engagementin REDD+.