As Peru wood exports plummeted over the last decade, deforestation marched higher.
In 2010, Peru wood exports totaled US$ 180 million (FOB). Exports peaked in 2014 at $186 million, before plummeting to just $88 million by the end of the decade. That’s a drop of 51%. All of which occurred after 2015.
(During the COVID pandemic year of 2020, exports dropped further to $69M.)
Over the same period, loss of primary forest in Peru (deforestation) increased 60%.
In 2010, Peru lost 101 thousand hectares (kha) of primary forest. By 2019 this increased to 162 kha.
As exports of wood products from Peru shrank, deforestation increased.
This evidence supports the case that wood product exports are positively correlated with forest conservation at scale. How? By creating cash flow values for forests that justify their management as an economic means of production. Without a cash flow value for local populations, forests get converted to other economic uses of land.
Tropical wood product markets are essential for the conservation of tropical forests at scale. Efforts to conserve tropical forests, that also destroy demand for tropical forest products, are likely to fail.
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