NPR

Is It A Good Idea To Pay Villagers Not To Chop Down Trees?

Governments dole out millions each year. Researchers debate whether the payouts actually work. A new study from Uganda offers some answers.
A Ugandan baboon sits in a farmer's jackfruit tree. Source: Megan Kearns/Courtesy of Innovations for Poverty Action

Governments have struggled to come up with effective ways to stop people from cutting down trees.

That's because unchecked deforestation can cause soil to erode, worsen flooding and destroy natural habitats for wildlife. It's become a serious problem throughout the globe. Deforestation accounts for roughly 10 percent of worldwide emissions from burning, and loss of trees reduces the amount of carbon being reabsorbed into the ground.

In 2012, Indonesia lost about two million acres of forest,

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