Past Event

The dynamics of deforestation: drivers, nature, interventions and challenges

09 Jun 2021 9:00


This deep dive considered deforestation through four interconnected lenses: one, the role of forests/deforestation in climate change (including emissions, mitigation and resilience); two, the links between forests and freshwater ecosystems; three, global production; and, four, local needs, poverty and development. It covered both the drivers of deforestation and how Nature interventions can tackle it, as well as some of the challenges and how Nature interventions/NbS may need to be paired with other interventions e.g. policy.

This session is one of three thematic deep dives on the K4D Learning Journey on International Nature that consider how drivers of ecosystem degradation (e.g. population growth, lifestyle changes etc.), human activity (as both a cause and response to ecosystem degradation), and climate change interact, before examining Nature interventions as solutions. Political economy aspects will be central to whether or not Nature interventions are adopted and implemented effectively: each deep dive will be related to the wider context. Linkages between the three sectors will also be highlighted. The session will also consider trade-offs, governance and equity.

The Knowledge, Evidence and Learning for Development Programme (K4D) supports the use of learning and evidence to improve the impact of development policy and programmes. It is funded by UK aid and is designed to assist the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and other UK government departments and partners to be innovative and responsive to rapidly changing and complex development challenges.

The Dynamics of Deforestation – Penny Davies

In this video, Penny Davies, Adviser to the Climate and Land Use Alliance (CLUA), provides an introduction to the topic of deforestation, its drivers, and what policy interventions work to prevent it.

Partnerships for Forests (P4F) – Katie McCoy

In this video, Katie McCoy, Team Leader at Partnerships for Forests (P4F), offers a deep dive into the kinds of approaches that can start to address some of the challenges of deforestation. Drawing on P4F’s work, she focusses particularly on the role of the private sector and presents cocoa-driven deforestation as an example of how the product-protect model can be applied.

Learning objectives

Attendees should, following the session:

  • Be able to make the case for tackling deforestation and have a greater awareness of the importance of forests for climate change mitigation, people, livelihoods and ecosystems.
  • Have a greater understanding of deforestation drivers.
  • Understand different approaches for tackling deforestation and recognise potential entry points for xHMG and other actors.

Essential study materials

The four specific sources listed here are required reading before this session and will take around 1 hour to complete.

  1. Pacheco, P., Mo, K., Dudley, N., Shapiro, A., Aguilar-Amuchastegui, N., Ling, P.Y., Anderson, C. and Marx, A. (2021). Deforestation fronts: Drivers and responses in a changing world. WWF, Gland, Switzerland. https://www.tropicalforestalliance.org/assets/Uploads/deforestation_fronts_drivers_and_responses_in_a_changing_world_full_report_1_compressed.pdf, Pages 46-64
  2. Tropical Forest Alliance. How to build deforestation free supply chains: Lessons from Indonesia. https://www.tropicalforestalliance.org/en/collective-action-agenda/forest-positive-stories/how-to-build-deforestation-free-supply-chains-lessons-from-indonesia2
  3. Di Sacco, A., et al. (2021), Ten golden rules for reforestation to optimize carbon sequestration, biodiversity recovery and livelihood benefits. Global Change Biology, 27, pp. 1328-1348. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15498, Section 1.
  4. Food and Land Use Coalitoon. (2019). Prosperous Forests.London: Systemiq. https://www.foodandlandusecoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/FOLU-Prosperous-Forests_v6.pdfPages 2-5

Optional study materials

  1. Lo M, Narulita S, Ickowitz A. (2019). The relationship between forests and freshwater fish consumption in rural Nigeria. PLOS ONE 14(6): e0218038. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0218038
  2. Brill, Gregg, Tien Shiao, Cora Kammeyer, Sarah Diringer, Kari Vigerstol, Naabia Ofosu-Amaah, Michael Matosich, Carla Müller-Zantop, Wendy Larson and Tim Dekker (2021). Benefit Accounting of Nature-Based Solutions for Watersheds: Guide United Nations CEO Water Mandate and Pacific Institute. Oakland, California. https://pacinst.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Benefit-Accounting-of-Nature-Based-Solutions-for-Watershed-Guide-Pacific-Institute-March-2021.pdf
  3. Johnson, F.X. & Bessonova, E. (2021). Forest resources are at the heart of the EU’s bioeconomy strategy. How can they be used sustainably? Stockholm Environment Institute. Perspective, https://www.sei.org/perspectives/forests-eu-bioeconomy/
  4. Adams, C., Rodrigues, S.T., Calmon, M. and Kumar, C. (2016), Impacts of large-scale forest restoration on socioeconomic status and local livelihoods: what we know and do not know. Biotropica, 48: 731-744. https://doi.org/10.1111/btp.12385(not open access)
  5. Fleischman, F. et al. (2020). Pitfalls of Tree Planting Show Why We Need People-Centered Natural Climate Solutions. BioScience, 70,11, pp. 947– 950, https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biaa094(WHOLE THING)
  6. World Resources Institute ‘Cities for Forests’ Initiative: https://www.wri.org/our-work/project/cities4forests/about-cities4forests
  7. Austin, K.G., Baker, J.S., Sohngen, B.L. et al. (2020). The economic costs of planting, preserving, and managing the world’s forests to mitigate climate change. Nat Communication,11, 5946,  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-19578-z
  8. Fa, J. E. et al., (2020). Importance of Indigenious Peoples’ lands for the conservation of Intact Forest Landscapes. Front Ecol Environ, 18( 3): 135– 140, doi:1002/fee.2148

Key contacts

Louise Oakley

Research and Learning Programme Manager


Paul Knipe

Director of Consultancy, Impact and Influence


Supported by


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