Conversion – The Immutable Link between Forestry and Development

December 2009 – A Study by World Growth
Leading European Union (EU) members are pressing either for agreement to a ‘No Conversion’ principle, or for endorsement of the idea that no financial assistance should be provided to developing countries unless they apply a ‘No Conversion’ policy. These are policies that would increase, not reduce, poverty (nor have a meaningful environmental impact – most developing countries have already reserved large areas of forest to protect biodiversity). Furthermore, based on the same erroneous assumption about what drives deforestation, the EU is introducing trade measures to enable it to coerce large exporters of forest products to adopt ‘No Conversion’ policies and to restrict large scale and commercial forestry. These policies, advanced as measures to protect the environment, will have only one certain effect: they will increase poverty. This report aims to explain why.


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