Agricultural Expansion and Tropical Deforestation: International Trade, Poverty and Land Use
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There is no clear-cut causal relationship between international trade, agricultural expansion and tropical deforestation. Academics, policy-makers and the public are all tempted by simplistic solutions to complex problems. In order to establish the true causal factors involved in this critical area of environmental decline, the authors of this study present case studies ranging over three continents. Utilizing statistics, it is shown that the focus of analysis of deforestation must be applied as much to the misguided policies of national and regional authorities as to the forces of trade and globalization. Further, it demonstrates that we must adopt a critical perspective on the historical context of human use of forest areas, looking at issues such as systems of land tenure. The primary aim of the book is to highlight the need to seek solutions in far-reaching institutional and policy reforms adapted to specific socio-economic and ecological contexts, if the problem of tropical deforestation is to be tackled effectively.
The Extent of Tropical Deforestation and Agricultural Expansion in Developing Countries Recent land use changes 3 Tropical Deforestation and Agricultural Expansion in the Case Study Countries Public policy-induced deforestation in Brazil Deforestation and agricultural expansion in Guatemala China Cameroon Malaysia 4 Linkages with International Trade Introduction Brazil Guatemala China Malaysia Cameroon Diverse and changing linkages 15 19 31 32 50 69 81 90 99 99 101 104 107 109 112 114 vi
and pasture. 68 AGRICULTURAL EXPANSION AND "ROPICAL DEFORESTATION Conclusion As in Brazil, state policies (and the absence of policies) were the immediate cause of most undesirable forest clearance. Deforestation resulted from deliberate political choices. Countervailing policies have not been effective on the whole because the state's dominant strategy was one of 'modernization' of a kind most profitable in the short run for its most powerful support groups. These included the traditional
Tenure insecurity consequently does not appear to discourage long-term investments in the land, such as the establishment of private tree plantations. This is explained bythe fact that the villages in Hekou are quite old, with many generations of the same families working together. Communal cooperation is thus a well-established tradition. Communal control is also exercised in the management of village forest land. The useof forest land is strictly monitoredby the village leaders: permission must
as most of it was converted to pasture. In 1994, however, only a little over one-fourth of Brazil’s merchandise exports were agricultural products. Only 3 per cent of these exports consisted of meat and live cattle, most of which were being produced in the South rather than in Amazonia (FAO, 1995). State subsidies and related policies drove most deforestation in Amazonia rather than international markets for meat and other agricultural commodities. This was clearly brought out in the five local
0 Paulo, Brazil 10, 45-9, 126 Sarawak, Malaysia 12, 90-1, 92, 94-5, 111, 114, 121, 132, 133 Saudi Arabia 25, 27 Senegal 25, 26 Sierra Leone 25, 26 Solomon Islands 25, 26 Somalia 25, 26 150 AGRICULTURALEXPANSIONAND n O P I C A L DEFORESTATION South Africa 25, 26, 131 South America see Latin America Southern Bakundu Forest Reserve, Cameroon 13, 86-7 Sri Lanka 25, 26 Sudan 25, 26 Surinam 25, 2 7 sustainable development 1-2, 4, 58-61, 118-20, 124-34, 135, 137-9 Swaziland 25, 26 Syria 25, 2 7