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Appendix 1: Disturbed forest

Brown, K. Pearce. 1994. The causes of Tropical Deforestation. University of British Colombia. Canada

Document availability: Photocopies of some articles are available in the FRA Library.
This document presents a compilation of studies with various hypotheses as to the causes of deforestation in tropical forests. It presents mechanisms that could provide incentives for the conservation and sustainable management of tropical forests (Data presented in the document are based on FRA 1990).


CIFOR. 1999. Proceedings of the Global Workshop. Underlying Causes of Deforestation and Forest Degradation held in Costa Rica. 1999. Sixty case studies and discussion papers

Document availability: FRA Library.
Participants adopted a set of recommendations (Annex II of the document). This was the final consultation meeting after several meetings in Asia, Africa and Latin America. There was no standard methodology for the conduct and reporting of case studies, so it is difficult to compare results. Conclusion are very general.


CIFOR. 1996. Rates and Causes of Deforestation in Indonesia: towards a resolution of the ambiguities. Sudendelin W. Resosudarmo I. CIFOR occasional paper 9. ISSN 0854-9818. Indonesia.
Document availability: Centre for International Forestry Research CIFOR (

Indonesia: There have been several research efforts on the rate and causes of Indonesia's deforestation in recent years, but there is still no consensus in the research community on these causes. The paper reviews these areas of uncertainty and confusion, including the problem of imprecise and conflicting definitions; positive and negative effects of shifting cultivation; tree crop production (rubber, for example); migration, both encouraged and spontaneous; and population density. There is a correlation between population density and deforestation, but it is not clear whether it is causal or incidental. There is typical sequence whereby forests are first cleared by loggers and then occupied by agriculture. Logging takes place on from 77 000 to 120 000 ha annually. Little information exists related to management of logging concessions.

There is a need to study the recuperative capacity of forests following clearing, degradation or other poor management practices. Studies are also needed on the costs and returns of plantations, especially in comparison to agriculture.

Drigo R. and Marcoux A. 1997. Population Dynamics and the Assessment of Land Use Changes and Deforestation. FAO. Rome 1997.

Document availability: Population And Environmental Linkages (; FAO (

Brazilian Amazon: Analyses the linkage between population and deforestation in tropical countries. Looks at population-deforestation linkages using several geographical levels and approaches. Simplistic methods may lead to misconceptions and false conclusions.

Method and model: Model for estimating forest change; regional biomass flux diagrams.


Minde, I. et al. 1999. Agricultural Land Expansion and Deforestation in Malawi (draft). Unpublished material

Document availability: FRA Library.

Malawi: Literature on deforestation in Malawi points to a number of causes including high population in relation to available land, poverty, markets, policy failures, drought and the severity of structural adjustment policies. The prevalence of small land holdings leads to cultivation of marginal lands and forest encroachment. When macroeconomic structural adjustments tend to increase the prices of agricultural products the pressure on forest areas increases.

Human population impacts forests through demand for fuelwood and agricultural production, but it is important to know the proportion of material that is collected from the living forest as opposed to dead branches. This can help assess if the activity is driving deforestation or forest degradation.


Ostrom E. 1995. A framework relating human driving forces and their impact on biodiversity. Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis. Indiana University. USA.

Document availability: Indiana University (
The author presents the problem of measuring social, political and economic variables that affect forest condition. It is difficult to determine the right scale for measurement and analysis. As an alternative, Ostrom presents human choices and the variety of adaptations that individuals may make when populations increase and resources become scarce.

Method and model: International Forestry Resources and Institute (IFRI) research methodology: micro-level, multiyear, multi-country study of demographic and institutional variables and these impacts on human incentives, behaviour and forest ecology.


Palloni A. 1992. The relation between Population and Deforestation: Methods drawing cause inferences from Macro and Micro Studies. Workshop on Population and the Environment. Mexico.

Document availability: The Social Science Research Council. Workshop On Population and The Environment. FRA Library.
This document presents population pressure as an important force leading to deforestation, but rarely acting alone to produce the outcome. The qualitative analysis in this study identified important social institutions that can create an environment where population pressure may or may not affect deforestation. Data was provided by the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behaviour Science for Latin America, Africa and Asia.

Method and model: Meta-analysis, a combination of statistical techniques designed to convert disparate statistics to a common system, and development of a coefficient of correlation.

Remarks: Different definitions were used in the countries studied. Each study used a different model or simplification. It was not possible to standardise the estimation procedures used in each study.


Repetto, R. 1999. The Forest for the Trees. World Resources Institute. USA.

Document availability:
USA and some developing countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, China, Brazil, West Africa): A policy document showing how governments, although committed in principle to conservation and wise resource use, are exacerbating the loss of their forests through misguided policies. Analysis of forest sector policies.

Method and model: Not available


Turner, P. 1995. Explaining Deforestation a preliminary review of the literature. Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis. Indiana University. USA.

Document availability: Indiana University and FRA Library
The author presents a summary and logic of the various explanations of the causes of deforestation. This review essay is an initial step in a project sponsored by the Beijer Institute of the Royal Swedish Academy of Science that will allow researchers to examine deforestation at multiple levels of analysis. The documents organises the causes of deforestation by (1) demographic factors; (2) agricultural factors (3) macroeconomic factors; (4) industrial factors; (5) forest accessibility; (6) political factors; and (7) land use constrains.


Verolme, H.,Moussa, J. April 1999. Addressing the Underlying Causes of Deforestation and Forest Degradation. Case Studies, Analysis and Policy Recommendation. Biodiversity Action Network. Washington.

Document availability: Raincoast Conservation Society ( and Biodiversity Action Network (


World Bank. 1998. Summaries. Underlying causes of deforestation Meeting in Accra, Ghana 26-29 October. 1998.


World Bank. 1998. Summaries. Underlying causes of deforestation and forest degradation West Java, Indonesia 4-6 December 1998.

Document availability:
Web site articles with summaries provided from Bank staff for different meetings.

Africa, Asia: Underlying causes of deforestation meetings in Ghana and West Java. Participants mentioned that the structural adjustment programmes of the World Bank had affected the process of forest conservation. Adjustment programmes influenced governments to reduce public expenditures, resulting in the reduction of forest department staff. There are also contradictory strategies between agriculture and forestry. Other major causes were issues of governance, corruption, lack of transparency and participation in decision-making and the rise of militarism.

Method and model: No information available


World Bank. 1999. Summaries. Forests and Sustainable Rural Livelihood Expert Meeting April 14-16. United Kingdom.

Document availability: Http://
Web site articles with summaries provided from Bank staff during different meetings.

Asia: The document describes the impact that the poor have on forest degradation and deforestation and the impact that forest degradation/deforestation and various forest policies have on the poor. The draft document will be placed on the web site when it becomes available. The author points out that there is little information about degradation of ecosystems at the local level compared to the information available relating to the global and regional levels.

Method and model: No information available


World Resources Institute. 1999 Critical Consumption trends and implication degrading earth’s ecosystems. Washington. USA.

Document availability:
For more information:

General: Consumption patterns contribute to the degradation of the earth. Wood fibre consumption and logging have increased during the last year. Changes in consumption habits and improvements in technology and efficiency (alternative products, recycling, etc.) are opportunities that could reduce the impact on ecosystems.

Method and model: No information available.


Recommended readings

Aid that destroys the forest. International Agriculture Research 16. No 6 (1996):11-12

Document availability: Virtual library.

General: Deforestation.


Bhusal, T., Weber. 1998. Thailand Disappearing forests- the challenge to tropical forests. International Journal of Environment and Pollution 9. No 2-3 (1998):198:212

Document availability: CGIAR-IPGRI ( virtual library.

General: Forest ecology and management.


FAO-FO 1989. Catterson, T. M., Gulick, F. and Resh T. The role of forestry in combating desertification. Proceedings: FAO conservation guide. Expert consultation. Rome.

Document availability: FAO Forestry Library.

African experience drawn from USAID activities.


Magnusson, al. 1999. Logging activity and tree regeneration in the Amazonia forest. Forest Ecology and Management. 113, No 1:67-74.

Document availability: CGIAR-IPGRI ( virtual library.

General: Forest ecology and management.


Matlack. G. 1997. Four Centuries of Forest Clearance and Regeneration in the Hinterland of a large city. Journal of Biogeography 24. No 3 (1997):161-65

Document availability: CGIAR-IPGRI ( virtual library.

General: Regeneration


Rocha J. 1997. Huge projects threaten to devastate the Amazon. The Guardian. August 1997 (news article).

Document availability: The Guardian ( virtual library

Amazon: Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela: The article describes development projects proposed for the Amazon region. Around 50 000 inhabitants will be affected.

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