In Can Money Grow on Trees?, Panorama reporter Ben Anderson travels to Brazil and Guyana to examine a new plan to save the rainforest by making it worth more standing than chopped down.
The idea is to take the principles of the market and apply them to the standing trees; calculating an exact value for the services which the rainforest provides.
These ecosystem services, as they are known, influence weather systems on a vast scale, produce rainfall and capture CO2 from the atmosphere, reducing global warming.
Forestry plays a diverse and significant role in reducing poverty in South African rural areas, ranging from direct cash payments to more intangible improvements in rights, capabilities and representation.
Severe water scarcity presents the single biggest threat to future food production. Even now many freshwater sources-underground aquifers and rivers--are stressed beyond their limits. As much as 8 percent of food crops grows on farms that use groundwater faster than the aquifers are replenished, and many large rivers are so heavily diverted that they don't reach the sea for much of the year. As the number of urban dwellers climbs to five billion by 2025, farmers will have to compete even more aggressively with cities and industry for shrinking resources.
The attainment of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals would be derailed due to changes in weather patterns around the world, experts warned. Scientific research and medical journals say it will affect food production and economic growth in many countries especially developing ones.
Experts say those factors and others will make it harder to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, which seek to respond to the world’s main development challenges. The MDGs, include efforts to improve health, cut child mortality and reduce poverty and the spread of HIV/AIDS.