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The Economic Impacts of Illegal Agro-Conversion on Tropical Forest Countries

A new framework supports national and global cost estimates

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This paper summarizes a new analysis of the costs of illegal conversion of tropical forests for export-driven industrial agriculture. It synthesizes a proposed theoretical framework for exploring impacts of illegal conversion on financial capital, natural capital, political capital, and human/social capital. A global minimum cost per hectare to forest countries of illegal agro-conversion is estimated, along with lessons learned from applying the framework in Brazil, Indonesia, Costa Rica, and Liberia.