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Economics of Deforestation

The Example of Ecuador

Economics of Deforestation by Sven Wunder
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Despite considerable international attention in the field of forest conservation, tropical forests are still disappearing at an unprecedented pace. This book gives an economic perspective to the analysis of deforestation. Following a survey of different deforestation definitions, theories and empirical evidence, a case-study of Ecuador provides a versatile historical picture of factors influencing forest loss throughout different periods, regions and ecosystems.

Policy and market failures alone cannot explain rapid deforestation. A root cause is that, with current technologies, market prices and disparate stakeholder interests, natural forest uses in Ecuador tend to yield less income than alternative (mainly agro-pastoral) land uses. The deforestation cycle follows a composite economic rationale, based on wood extraction, agriculture and cattle ranching. Though a slower pace of deforestation seems rational for the Ecuadorean state, on the basis of precautionary considerations, substantial success in curbing forest loss can only be achieved when payments for global forest benefits are implemented, as an integral element of effective conservation incentives on the ground.
Palgrave Macmillan; July 2000
280 pages; ISBN 9780230596696
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Title: Economics of Deforestation
Author: Sven Wunder
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