Inside Asia Podcast

Valuing Our Forests (w/ Koh Lian Pin)

May 2, 2021

My guest this week is Koh Lian Pin, a Singapore-based conservation scientist, and also one of nine nominated members of the Singapore Parliament. He’s staked his career on identifying ways to preserve our planet’s natural resources. His dream, as he says, is to see agri-business and forests in a state of peaceful co-existence.

This week, we take a look at the movement to preserve and protect our forests. There’s a new sense of urgency in the race to combat climate change. Trees, it so happens, are one of the greatest single sources of carbon-capture. And because of that, they are receiving a well-spring of conservationist and investor attention.

Programs like OneTreePlanted, Global Forest Generation, and One Trillion Trees are all encouraging individuals and corporations to plant and preserve forests. It couldn’t have come at a better time. While the pandemic might have slowed the rate of carbon output from manufacturing and travel, rain forests were not spared. In fact, the rate of deforestation accelerated in 2020, led primarily by logging and clearing activities in Brazil – home to more than 50% of the world’s rain forest.

Evidence suggests that love of trees alone won’t stem the deforestation tide. What we need are market mechanisms that value trees and the carbon they capture and process. Singapore is lining up on the opportunity and I spoke with Lian Pin to better understand what’s at stake.

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