REDD and PINC: A new policy framework to fund tropical forests as global 'eco-utilities'

Authors Trivedi, M.R.; Mitchell, A.W.; Mardas, N.; Parker, C.; Watson, J.E.; Nobre, A.D.
Year of Publication 2009
Type of Publication Journal Article
Journal IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science
Volume 8
Pagination 012005
Open Access Yes


Tropical forests are ‘eco-utilities’ providing critical ecosystem services that underpin food, energy, water and climate security at local to global scales. Currently, these services are unrecognised and unrewarded in international policy and financial frameworks, causing forests to be worth more dead than alive. Much attention is currently focused on REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) and A/R (Afforestation and Reforestation) as mitigation options. In this article we propose an additional mechanism – PINC (Proactive Investment in Natural Capital) – that recognises and rewards the value of ecosystem services provided by standing tropical forests, especially from a climate change adaptation perspective. Using Amazonian forests as a case study we show that PINC could improve the wellbeing of rural and forest-dependent populations, enabling them to cope with the impacts associated with climate change and deforestation. By investing pro-actively in areas where deforestation pressures are currently low, the long-term costs of mitigation and adaptation will be reduced. We suggest a number of ways in which funds could be raised through emerging financial mechanisms to provide positive incentives to maintain standing forests. To develop PINC, a new research and capacity-building agenda is needed that explores the interdependence between communities, the forest eco-utility and the wider economy.