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Über dieses Buch

The social dynamics of deforestation and of forest protection are the ongoing interactions amongst social actors and processes that determine the use and management of forests. Based on a vast amount of research and detailed case-studies in Brazil, Central America, Nepal and Tanzania as well as several papers dealing with wider themes and regions, this book argues that most current discussions of increased rates of deforestation and perceived accompanying environmental crises are overly simplistic. Institutional reforms and policy measures that have been undertaken in developing countries usually failed to protect either the forests or people's livelihoods. Technical solutions to deforestation are only one element in what are essentially political questions. The central issue is not how to halt deforestation but rather how to manage forest areas and natural resources in order to meet social goals on a more equitable and sustainable basis. Conventional wisdom that attributes deforestation primarily to peasant ignorance and population growth is questioned as are other single factor explanations such as market and policy failures.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

1. Introduction to Deforestation Issues and the Case-Studies

Abstract
In recent years, few if any environmental issues have received as much global attention as ‘tropical deforestation’. Within developing countries there is a growing awareness among educated elites of the many interrelationships between deforestation and land degradation, floods, drought, famine and rural poverty. Popular movements in several countries by indigenous and other groups negatively affected by deforestation processes have contributed to political concerns about deforestation issues. So too have perceptions of many among intellectual, socia-economic and political leaders that rapid deforestation may be prejudicing their countries’ possibilities for sustainable development in the future while its short-term benefits accrue mostly to corporate and consumer interests in the North and to a few small minorities in the South. There is an ongoing debate among conservationists about how remaining forests in developing countries could best be protected, sustainably managed and used. The discussions in this book deal with these and related issues.
Solon L. Barraclough, Krishna B. Ghimire

2. Deforestation in Historical Perspective

Abstract
Forests have been advancing, receding and altering for over 300 million years in response to natural phenomena such as geological and biological evolution, climatic change and occasional catastrophes. Humans may have had some influences on forest boundaries and composition in a few regions as much as a million years ago following early man’s mastery of fire. Settled agriculture was not even invented by modern man until 20 to 40 thousand years ago. Neolithic farming was largely confined to fertile riverine flood plains, although domesticated animals foraged in savannas and neighbouring forests.
Solon L. Barraclough, Krishna B. Ghimire

3. Deforestation and its Impacts in the Case-Study Areas

Abstract
This chapter reports some of the findings of the field studies that examined processes directly leading to deforestation and the impacts on different social groups. The four case-studies are discussed in separate sections. This is done in order better to suggest inte.ractions and linkages among processes, policies and more stable relationships influencing deforestation and its consequences in each area.
Solon L. Barraclough, Krishna B. Ghimire

4. Grassroots Responses to Deforestation

Abstract
The preceding chapter showed how deforestation processes tend to degrade the livelihoods of many people who traditionally depend entirely or in part on the use of forest resources. Food, fuel, fodder and construction materials from the forest disappear or become prohibitively difficult to obtain. Agricultural productivity often declines. Soil erosion accelerates while silting, land slides and flooding intensify. Groundwater sources and streams become less dependable and micro-climates less benign. Traditional forest lands are alienated, leaving many groups landless or with reduced areas, forcing shortened crop rotations. With privatisation or nationalisation of lands, customary residents are often evicted or confronted with onerous fees, rents and obligations to work for the new owners.
Solon L. Barraclough, Krishna B. Ghimire

5. National and International Forest Protection Initiatives

Abstract
As was seen earlier, neither the impacts of nor the responses to deforestation are limited to local communities. There have been numerous national and international initiatives to protect the remaining forests in developing countries and to reforest denuded areas. A few of these conservation efforts in the case-study countries had ancient roots such as Mayan, Hindu and other indigenous cultural or religious norms. Others originated with colonial concerns to protect sources of timber for shipbuilding and railway construction, such as in India. In the Tanzanian Usambaras, early forest protection measures by German and British colonial administrations seem to have been motivated primarily by a few environlnentally conscious colonial officials prodded by nature lovers from their home countries.
Solon L. Barraclough, Krishna B. Ghimire

6. Constraints and Opportunities for Sustainable Forest Use

Abstract
The previous five chapters have revealed a bewildering array of issues that have to be dealt with in understanding the social dynamics of deforestation in developing countries and in seeking effective ways of protecting forests while at the same time improving the livelihoods of those rural people who depend on them. Similar sets of issues, however, seem to keep reappearing in different guises in diverse localities, as well as at national levels in each country and internationally. Before discussing strategies for protecting forests and livelihoods in the last chapter, it behoves the analyst to attempt to synthesise the principal issues.
Solon L. Barraclough, Krishna B. Ghimire

7. Protecting Forests and Livelihoods

Abstract
Earlier chapters showed that present deforestation trends in developing countries are socially and ecologically unsustainable. Initiatives by individuals, communities, public agencies, NGOs and others have been temporarily successful in protecting forests in a few areas. Many forest protection policies, however, have contributed to increasing hardships for vulnerable social groups by depriving them of access to forests. Moreover, even when conservation has been effective locally in checking deforestation, these achievements are being overwhelmed at national levels by countervailing processes.
Solon L. Barraclough, Krishna B. Ghimire

Backmatter

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