Climate-smart agriculture: Will higher yields lead to lower deforestation?

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Key messages

  • Sustainable intensification of agricultural production, a key component of climate-smart agriculture, can potentially conserve forests. However, higher yields may provide incentives to expand agricultural land into forests, so policies need to incorporate forest-specific measures to ensure land-sparing outcomes.
  • Sustainable intensification policies aimed at supporting forest conservation must take into consideration the characteristics of the commodity, farm practices and context, including capital intensities, market conditions, scale of adoption, target location, and accompanying forest governance and conservation policies.
  • National REDD+ strategies promoting forest conservation can benefit from the promotion of sustainable intensification, but thus far few countries combine the two approaches.

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