Farmers in Latin America and Caribbean will see billions in lost revenue over the next two decades if a complete ban on deforestation is put in place, highlighting the need for compensatory actions to alleviate poverty in affected rural areas, according to new pilot study by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The study also found that a deforestation ban would have a negligible impact on food prices.
Smaller countries with fewer economic alternatives within and outside of agriculture in Central America and the Caribbean would suffer disproportionately from the ban, while larger and more diverse countries such as Brazil may eventually benefit from the ban, according to the paper “Agriculture Greenhouse Emissions in Latin America and the Caribbean.”
The study forecasts that a hypothetical complete ban on land clearing for agriculture in tropical areas of Latin America and the Caribbean could generate potential large agricultural losses in these areas. For example, in 2030 farmers will receive $12.7 billion (in 2000 U.S. dollars) less than they otherwise would without a ban. Although there is much uncertainty regarding the value of greenhouse gas emissions in the marketplace, compensating farmers for refraining from land clearing may only offset over half of the total agricultural losses associated with the ban.