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Tree harvesting is not the same as deforestation

Millions of people rely on potentially sustainable harvesting for their income and energy. Yet specious assumptions about deforestation continue to drive ineffective bans on these practices. This occurs at the peril of the climate and the poor.

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Fig. 1: Bringing wood charcoal to market in Mozambique.

Mike Goldwater / Alamy Stock Photo


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This work was carried out under the Climate Adaptation and Resilience (CLARE) programme, with financial support from the UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Ottawa, Canada (IDRC project no. 109238-004). The views expressed herein are those of the creators and do not necessarily represent those of the FCDO, IDRC or its board of governors. We thank C. Bec and P. Nieto for providing the French translation.

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The Comment originated from discussions among all co-authors, with G.W., C.M.R. and L.A. further distilling the key points. G.W. led and coordinated the discussion and wrote the manuscript, with edits from all co-authors. J.F. and L.A. provided the Portuguese translation.

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Correspondence to Geoff J. Wells.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Summaries of this Comment in French and Portuguese.

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Wells, G.J., Ryan, C.M., Artur, L. et al. Tree harvesting is not the same as deforestation. Nat. Clim. Chang. 12, 307–309 (2022).

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