Never in history have there been more human and financial resources devoted to the protection of tropical forests. In Brazil and Indonesia, we are making progress in reducing the deforestation directly associated with soybean and oil palm cultivation. But we are not winning the bigger war. Annual deforestation is creeping back up in the Brazilian Amazon after an astonishing precipitous fall that bottomed out in 2012. In Indonesia, the fall is yet to come.
In a new Commentary in Mongabay, I describe a critical element of strategies to end tropical deforestation that deserves far more attention: the case for governmental action. In my next Commentary, I will describe a second critical element: the case for farm sector action.