Deforestation - Policy Pressures and Options

There has been much publicity and popular comment around the role of cattle ranching in causing deforestation in the humid tropics, particularly in Latin America. There is an emerging consensus that it is not livestock production per se that has caused deforestation, but a complex of policies. Livestock production has often been merely a means to claim title to land and to capture various rents in the form of government subsidies. While the trend to ranching-linked deforestation in Latin America has slowed markedly, it is still the case that options to mitigate the negative impacts, and to prevent such impacts in future, lie in the policy domain.

Policy pressures that contribute or have contributed to deforestation include:

Policy options that can lessen the risk of deforestation include: Key references

Faminow, M.D. and Vosti S.A. 1998. Livestock-Deforestation Links: Policy Issues in the Western Amazon. in Nell, A. (ed) Livestock and the Environment: International Conference, IAC, Wageningen.

Hecht, S.B. 1002. Logics of Livestock and Deforestation: the Case Of Amazonia. In Downing, T.E., Hecht, S.B., Pearson, H.A. and Garcia-Downing. C. (eds) Development or Destruction: The Conversion of Tropical Forest To Pasture in Latin America. Westview, Boulder.

Kaimowitz, D. 1995. Livestock and Deforestation in Central America in the 1980s and 1990s: A Policy Perspective. EPTD Discussion Paper, IFPRI, Washington DC, 1995. Click to view as Word document . (further information including copies of the report can be obtained from IFPRI at http://www.iimi.org/ifpri)

Angelsen, A. & Kaimowitz, D. 1999. Rethinking the Causes of Deforestation: lessons from Economic Models. The World Bank Research Observer, Vol 14 No. 1. pp 73-98. IBRD / The world Bank. Click here to view this document in Acrobat format 

Ledec, G. 1992. New Directions for Livestock Policy; an Environmental Perspective" In Downing, T.E., Hecht, S.B., Pearson, H.A. and Garcia-Downing. C. (eds)  Development or Destruction: The Conversion of Tropical Forest To Pasture in Latin America. Westview, Boulder 1992

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