Climate Mitigation, Deforestation and Human Development in Brazil

2007/2008 Occasional Paper
By Volpi, Giulio

Climate change mitigation in developing countries is a growing priority for many governments. Much of the current research into this area concentrates on emissions from industry and households. However, in many countries changing land use patterns drives carbon flows into the atmosphere. This Thematic Paper for the UNDP Human Development Report 2007 focuses on tropical deforestation as a major source of rising carbon emissions and wider human development problems in the Brazilian Amazon–the largest area of tropical forests in the world. Consistently with the Terms of Reference, this paper cover five broad themes: (i) the scale, pace and location of deforestation; (ii) an analysis of the factors driving deforestation, including public policies; (iii) how deforestation is contributing to carbon emissions; (iv) the human development effects of deforestation, and; (v) what can be done to address the problem.