The question of whether production-oriented forestry is a viable conservation strategy in the tropics has resulted in a polarized debate. Supporters of the concept have promoted it as a simultaneous solution to problems of biodiversity protection and economic stagnation throughout tropical regions. Detractors insist that any conservation strategy short of fully protected status is a waste of resources, and that promoting forest management actually hastens deforestation. By focusing on a set of critical issues and case studies, this book explores the territory between these extreme positions, highlighting major factors that contribute to or detract from the chances of achieving forest conservation through sustainable management.
by Carlo Castellani in Italy
Clearly written, it reports a quite variegated collection of cases, studies and reviews interesting and esily understandable not only to the forester, but also for economists, policy makers, conservationists and conservation and social-minded readers at large. On the negative side: There is no organic development among different chapters (there is no conclusion at the book, out of the specific ones for each chapter). No indicator shows how success cases influence (or might do it in the short term) forest conservation in the Neotropics; it shows some achievent (not success); one only indicator related to deforestation of any given area not related to special protection (protected areas, national forests, communal forests, etc.) is given (for Puerto Rico), giving the idea that case studies have been picked up wherever a positive local situation was to be found. The reader is therefore left in front of a shut window with little holes from where he is allowed to see tiny patches of landscape without being able to have a general view, with the sad perception that no regional drive is presently taking place for the conservation of the Neotropical forests. Only 7, out of 22 chapters, report case studies appliable to a wider scale; the oth es are conceptual, technical, on forest policy or history; including among "working forests" two cases (one about BOLFOR project in Bolivia and one on the Tapajos-Arapius Extractive Reserve in Brazil) showing how a huge effort produces insignificant results and 647,611 hectars of forest provide a sustainable timber production of 2.5 cubic metres per year from only 500 ha under management and a monthly income of 270 Reais, respectively.
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