A farmer plows his field using a hand tractor to prepare rice for planting in Porame Village, Sigi Regency, Central Sulawesi Province, Indonesia on April 18, 2020. Photo Credit: NurPhoto via Getty Images

EnvironmentSociety Indonesia23. June 2020

Giving Cash to the Poor Can Also Help Protect Forests, Researchers Discover

According to a new study, a cash payment program to help poor Indonesians in rural areas stay healthy and educated has shown to reduce deforestation by as much as 30 percent!

“No matter which way we looked at it, the anti-poverty program on average leads to reduction in deforestation in the villages receiving it,” says study co-author Paul Ferraro, a professor of human behavior and public policy at Johns Hopkins University, USA.

The study analyzed around 7,500 Indonesian forest villages – involving 266,533 households – that received money from the anti-poverty scheme between 2008 and 2012. The study found that when farmers were receiving money from the program, they acted differently than usual when expecting low yields, says Ferraro: instead of clearing forests to plant more crops, they opted to buy from markets when faced with drought or monsoon season.

Thomson Reuters Foundation

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