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Trees, People and Power: Social Dimensions of Deforestation and Forest Protection in Central America

Series: Earthscan Library Collection: Natural Resource Management

By: Peter Utting (Author)

256 pages, no illustrations


Paperback | Dec 1993 | #28053 | ISBN: 185383162X
Out of Print Details
Hardback | Oct 2009 | #223330 | ISBN-13: 9781849710282
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £79.99 $98/€90 approx

About this book

Originally published in 1993.

Behind the headlines about the loss of tropical forests in Latin America lies a complex and fascinating story of the social pressures which cause it. Trees, People and Power looks at the various groups, interests and conflicts involved, and explores the repercussions for forestry, the environment and the livelihoods of the rural and urban poor. Until the social and political dimensions of deforestation and forest protection schemes are understood, measures to prevent or slow deforestation are likely to involve technical interventions which will prove ineffective in the long run, and may well result in further impoverishment and environmental degradation. Peter Utting takes a critical look at the experience of forest protection and tree planting in a number of countries and considers how social and political factors affect the feasability of such schemes. Many environmental projects and programmes have failed to balance concerns for the environment with those of human welfare. Until they do, it is unrealistic to expect any significant progress towards sustainable development.


List of illustrations

Part I: Deforestation and Unsustainable Development
1. Central America
- Ecological and Socio-economic Characteristics
- Deforestation and Environmental Degradation
2. Causes of Deforestation
- The Processes and Players Involved
- Deforestation and Agro-export Development
- Agrarian Frontier Colonization
- The Cattle Boom
- Logging
- The Expansion of Export Crops
- Infrastructural Development
- Fuelwood and Urbanization
3. Structural and Policy Determinants of Deforestation
- Agrarian Structure and Land Tenure
- Government Policy and Legislation
- Deforestation in the 1980s and 1990s: War, Agrarian Reform, Recession and Adjustment

Part II: The Breakdown of Traditional Resource Management Systems Overview
4. Deforestation and Indian Populations
- Central America's Indian Population
- State Policy and Indian Rights
- Encroachment in Tropical Rainforest Areas
- Indians, Graziers and Colonization in Costa Rica
- Indians and Logging Companies in Nicaragua
5. Deforestation and Livelihood in Guatemala's Western Highlands
- The land Tenure System and the Demise of Communal Protection Mechanisms
- The Crisis of Petty Commodity Production and Subsistence Provisioning
6. Deforestation and Shifting Peasant Agriculture
- Deforestation and Land Colonization in Panama
- Migratory Agriculture in Nicaragua

Part III Forest Protection and Tree Planting Initiatives Overview
7. The Conservationist Approach
- National Parks and Reserves
- Protected Area Schemes
8. Protected Area Schemes and Social Conflict in Costa Rica Two Case Studies: The Carara Biological Reserve and the Osa Peninsula
9. The Project Approach
- Reforestation, Sustainable Logging, Agroforestry and Social Forestry Schemes
- Reforestation, Sustainable Forest Management Agroforestry and Social Forestry Schemes
10. Programme and Project Implementation
- Concrete Experiences from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras
- Community Nurseries Programme in El Salvador
- Reforestation and Agroforestry Projects in Totonicapin, Guatemala
- The Honduran Social Forestry System
11. Alternative Approaches
- Revolutionary Change and Grassroots Mobilization
- Radical Structural Change: Agrarian Reform and Human Resettlement in Rio San Juan, Nicaragua
- Grassroots Mobilization, Deforestation and Forest Protection in Huehuetenango, Guatemala
12. Social and Political Dimensions of Forest Protection
- Social and Political Economy
- Concerns
- External Interventions
- Social Forces and Local Level Structures
- Grassroots Organization and Mobilization

Annex 1 Case Studies, Theme Papers and Researchers

Notes Abbreviations and Acronyms

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Peter Utting is a senior researcher coordinator with the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development. He is the author of Economic Adjustment under the Sandinistas (UNRISD, 1991) and Economic Reform and Third World Socialism (Macmillan, 1992).

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