The FAO noted in a report, that between 1990 and 2005 13 million hectares of forests have been converted to agricultural land and other land use. In 2007 the IPCC estimated, that emissions from deforestation in the 1990s amounted to 5.8 GtCO² per year. Through the clearing of land and the burning of wood, originally stored carbon was emitted into atmosphere. This made deforestation one of the major drivers of CO² emissions and global warming. It is estimated today, that deforestation and forest degradation account for 12-29% of all global greenhouse gas emissions.
The IPCC report also noted, that the reduction or prevention of deforestation and illegal logging represents one of the most effective options to prevent the release of carbon emissions.
The REDD+ program (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) was first discussed under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2005. It enables entities with forest assets in developing countries to receive financial funding for the protection of natural forest landscapes.