Agricultural Expansion and Tropical Deforestation: by Solon L. Barraclough, Krishna B. Ghimire

By Solon L. Barraclough, Krishna B. Ghimire

There is not any straight forward causal courting among overseas exchange, agricultural growth and tropical deforestation. teachers, policy-makers and the general public are all tempted by means of simplistic ideas to complicated difficulties. to be able to identify the real causal components fascinated by this serious region of environmental decline, the authors of this examine current case stories ranging over 3 continents. using information, it truly is proven that the point of interest of study of deforestation needs to be utilized as a lot to the inaccurate regulations of nationwide and neighborhood specialists as to the forces of exchange and globalization. additional, it demonstrates that we needs to undertake a severe point of view at the ancient context of human use of wooded area parts, taking a look at concerns comparable to structures of land tenure. the first objective of the booklet is to spotlight the necessity to search ideas in far-reaching institutional and coverage reforms tailored to precise socio-economic and ecological contexts, if the matter of tropical deforestation is to be tackled successfully.

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Additional info for Agricultural Expansion and Tropical Deforestation: International Trade, Poverty and Land Use

Sample text

Import substitution and industrialization continued to be a high priority in subsequent decades although it was complemented by a boom in soybean exports after the 1950s. The foreign debt crisis of the 1980s, and several other factors, induced the state to renew efforts to attract foreign investments in a more open economy. Recent deforestation processes have, of course, been influenced by such changes in the state’s dominant development strategy. By 1990 Brazil had become an upper-middle-income country according to the World Bank’s classification, with a per capita average national income similar to the average for all of Latin America.

However, most of these appraisals are based mainly on FAO estimates, supplemented by limited case study materials and differing interpretations. In any case, even if agricultural expansion did account for half or more of the loss of tropical forest area in some regions in recent years, this would tell one little about why this was occurring or what could be done to halt it. The social dynamics of deforestation are much more complex than is usually admitted by conservationists and many other concerned observers (Barraclough and Ghimire, 1995).

Squatters were encouraged to clear subsistence plots and, by implication, to displace the traditional indigenous inhabitants. Timber enterprises began to exploit the 42 AGRICULTURAL EXPANSIONAND TROPICAL DEFORESTATION forest. Land speculators (grileiros) violently expelled the squatters and the remnants of the indigenous occupants. Social conflicts followed, ensuring that government agencies had to intervene to ‘restore law and order’. Indigenous peoples were confined to small reservations while squatters and other traditional residents were forced to migrate to other areas.

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