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What if we could prevent the destruction of the rainforest while creating jobs and leveraging the power of international agreements and exploiting the corporate trend for “green” public images?

What if a company existed with the sole propose of buying the rainforest for conservation?  It’s revenue would be the sale of carbon offset credits equal to the amount of rainforest saved.  Its customers would be private firms and governments seeking to meet regulations of improve their public image.  It would supplement this with donations and small purchases by private individuals.

To prevent the miss-handling of this land the assets would be put into some kind of inaccessible ownership system such as a trust.  This would be designed to prevent future leaders from selling the rainforest assets but also to prevent the discounted sale of the assets in the event of a bankruptcy or similar financial crisis by the firm.

The rainforest is developed for a number of reasons, some of which include use by the local populations seeking to make a living.  Perhaps the firm could develop local branches employing local workers to manage the rainforest and ensure the owned land is properly protected according to the contracts set forth.

No doubt there are a million possible problems with this idea, not the least of which is the difficulty of enforcing property rights in a myriad of diverse states.  Still, it’s an interesting consideration.