Small investments, big payoff for forests

June 6, 2011 at 10:02 AM

NAIROBI, Kenya, June 6 (UPI) -- Investing less than 1 percent of the global gross domestic product on better forestry practices could cut deforestation, a U.N. report from Kenya concludes.

A report from the U.N. Environment Program in Kenya finds that spending another $40 billion globally each year could have a major impact on the rate of deforestation. That level represents 0.03 percent of the global gross domestic product but could halve current deforestation rates by 2030.

Jan McAlpine, a director at the U.N. Forum on Forests, said developing countries need more help with the transition to a greener economy and forest management, however.

"Encouraging a transition to green economies will require a broad range of financial, regulatory, institutional and technological measures," she said in a statement.

Achim Steiner, executive director of UNEP, stressed that forestry is one of the key areas of focus for a greener economy. His report adds that the number of trees planted with the $40 billion could rise by 140 percent by 2050.

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