ES 339
The Garden
We are a private property immersed country. There are a lot of different views in each community of what to do about the garden. Some want it to stay, others want the field. Who’s right to the land is it? They have tended to the land for a long time. What trumps what? See different worldviews coming in conflict here. Capitalist system could not have arisen unless you have a severing of ties with the land.
What is Deforestation
The difficulty with defining deforestation. Do you still classify it as a forest with 10% left? 50%? And if you use a satellite, what are its settings. Certain satellites give different images.
Forest Structure and Species Diversity
Is it still a forest is all of them are planted in straight lines and are all the same species with genetic unity? Diversity of trees is key.
Proximate Causes
Immediate result, tangible changes.
Infrastructure extension, Agricultural expansion, Wood extraction.
WIA
Will I Am
Underlying causes
Demographic factors, economic factors, technological factors, policy and institutional, cultural factors.
Underlying causes bring about proximate causes.
Depict
Deforestation
Pattern and process
Has a lot to deal with policy. Two examples of borders and their forests. More forest today than in 900 AD. Once beneath the forest there were fields that have developed into forests. Idea is that it has been shaped by humans before and these great complex forests have formed. Net loss of forests.
Deforestation in Borneo
Proximate Causes
Palm Oil plantations – no forest diversity. Also when land is cleared to make these rain will just hit the open field and run straight into the nearest stream and you get a great deal of erosion. If you get to clay you know there has been erosion. They do this for economic reasons and the high demand of palm oil. Slash and burn is practiced= large amounts of CO2 released.
Bauxite Mines – Where Al comes from. To get this there is large amounts of toxic waste produced. Just being dumped. Many people moved and national parks were created, but you can see there is infringement.
Deforestation in Borneo
Underlying Causes
Globalization, Politics, and Money
Suharto (Indonesian pres) tops corruption rankings, exploiting their resource.
Deforestation in Madagascar
The forests are being threatened by slash and burn. Huge amounts of soil and it is changing the color of the river. This happens very rapidly. Is important because there are many endemic species there.
Proximate Cause: Agricultural and Settlement Expansion
Underlying Causes: French Annexation (tribes flee to remote areas), Plantations and export economy, Privatization and ban on shifting cultivation, Debt, and population growth (with vaccines).
To remedy this we try to do debt for nature swaps that look good but in all reality no money is going to the problems and then you see coups.
Deforestation in the Amazon
Rondonia, Brazil
Building of roads to mines. Many urban poor followed the road and settled. This is a common pattern, a road to a mine is formed and people follow. These people start clearing by slash and burn. After a few years the soil has been oxidized and only sub-soil remains. Grasses come in and the cattle ranchers follow. The majority of proximate causes are these cattle ranchers.
Underlying causes
Discrepancy of wealth distribution. The more discrepancy the more problems. Remmittances have dried up so they make leases to cattle ranchers and they must fight to try and pay it.
El Salvador
Globalization and Forest Recovery
We most often see globalization as a driver of deforestation, but in here we see a contradiction.
Reasons:
Civil war
Remittances – Production has shifted from export to subsistence because families don’t have to try and make a profit as much.
The coffee business is not booming as much so there is less of a drive for new fields.
Global agricultural prices have plummeted .
There are no simple drivers.
Shifting cultivation
Swidden agroforestry
Has been developed by indigenous people from all over the world. Provides secury and long term production for these people. Shifting cultivation only means that at some time this field will be rested and the people will move away from it. Develops stratified canopies and diverse ecosystems. All an attempt to manage the soil and minimize risk. Mimics the surrounding forest very well and for that reason you have a hard time classifying it as field or forest.
Shifting Cultivation
Slash and burn
total clearance. Monoculture short term gain.
Hanuoo Agroforestry
They are huge players in the ecosystem. They influence diversity and practice swidden. Strict regulation as to when tasks are completed. Rotate fields regularity to fallow for good periods of time. In these areas we also see a contradiction to the malthusian arguments that increased population density will cause forests to disappear. These people want to add trees, shade, and nutrient cyclings.
Bora swidden-fallow agroforestry
Building of forest circles that provide benefits for tribe. Quite similar to Hanuoo. Tribe watches lands closely if they can you them still, take them out of fallow, or put them in fallow.
Mayan Milpa
also calls for the land to fallow.
Why drylands are important
cover 41% of land area, support 35% of global population and only 8% of fresh water.
Proximate Causes of desertification
Frequent drought plus population growth and agricultural expansion – overgrazing and such can cause soil erosion by wind and water
Deforestation
Overgrazing
The problems with desertification
You also face the difficulty similar to deforestation in how you define it. Over 100 definitions. Hard to tell if a land is regvegetating or experiencing desertification.
Causality – who knows what is causing this. Some blame in on climate change etc.
Scale – at what time scale and geographic scale do you look at this because oftentimes in this area environmental change is the norm.
Popular imagination vs. reality.
Consequences of Action and inaction
Environmental Change in Lake Chad watershed
Sahel Case study. Desertification has happened before. Gives pictures of cave paintings that depict swimmers and cattle that would require water in the Sahara. On human scale you see dry years and wetter years, also variation in season.
Proximate Causes vary
Overgrazing or anti-pastoral politics
Overgrazing or the good intentions of ngo’s
Overgrazing or Land tenure/ restricted access or nature.
Setting up wells in the area actually accelerated erosion. We cannot look at these areas and apply common solutions to them. No simple answers. The political factors are driving this more too, killing transhumance and forcing overgrazing. You have problems when you have agricultural expansion and drought.

Population Growth, agricultural expansion and reforestation in Niger. This is a labor intensive system, and more labor intensive people moving in has lead to more trees planted.

The first agricultural revolution
Cash crops came in and colonization, so we see a move away from subsistence. The problem is that the traditional african crops are adapted to climate variability and these cash crops are not. Cotton and corn come into the area.
The green revolution
Asian rice also being introduced but which one is better. Asian rice will definitely give you more, but african rice requires much less water. So do you want long term yields and security or short term yields.
Pastoral Politics and Transhumance
May not be just sheer number of animals, could be the limiting the movement of these animals.
Water politics
It is inexhaustible but getting good clean water is a problem. Negatively impacts the poor also.
Lake Chad
Is a wet area in the center of a huge desert. Therefore this is an area of quite unique biodiversity. Quite a steep drop around 1905, well before climate change. Lake Chad is very complex in how in oscillates. Has gone dry about six times. Political inaction in the US has led to inaction in the rest of the world.
Dams and the Omo river
Collects a great deal of sediment. Most lands downstream depend on this sediment for their flood based farming and when the sediment no longer comes their crops are in trouble. Even if you open the floodgates the sediment will not come.
Holy Lands Dams
Golan Heights is an area of strategic significance. Whoever controls this area has the high ground and control of the water. They have developed quite an amazing water infrastructure. Made the desert bloom (w/ bananas). The Palestinians criticizes them for having outdated infrasturcture and wasting water. They respond saying the Palestinians have been using too much of the water.
Turkey’s Anatolia Dam
In the fertile crescent. Will produce lots of clean water and electricity for them who desperately need it. Downstream has become quite dry as a result. Created a huge reservoir.
Iraq Marsh Arabs
Saddam Hussein built dams to try and kill off these people. But in doing so he really killed the marsh ecosystem. Dams were destroyed and ecosystems restored.
Aral Sea
Is disappearing due to huge amount of water drawn for irrigation. When the water leaves the salinity of this area increases. Dries up even more. Also many different countries with different water regimes making claims for the water.
The Indus River
Used to flow year round no only provides water 8 months out of the year.
Mekong
Also being dammed. They are popping up everywhere to provide the increasing population of china. Hundreds of cultures and languages that depend on the river. Fragmenting the waters ahs adverse affects on the water ecosystem changing the temperature, affecting O2 levels, and hurting fish.
Reynolds Stafford Smith
Points out that there a lot of misconceptions about desertification, but they are not saying that it is not happening. More movement away form traditional practices. Alternative views of the same process taking place or scene.
Adams
Dryland political ecology
“To some extent at least, desertification is in the eye of the beholder. Historically, people have seen what they wanted to see.” Not only a problem caused by the poor. The problem is quite complex and the science is inconclusive. Population may be an issue but the true culprit may be the political regimes and policies. Degradation may be caused by the settling of traditional pastoralists and confining their grazing nature. Warns against Malthusian concepts. There is no real equilibrium in semi-arid ecosystems, and everything is in a state of flux. Higher population in some areas is leading to intensification not degradation.
Hecht
Globalization does not always drive deforestation, may do opposite. Although El Salvador experienced an increase in population it is becoming increasingly wooded.We should not be concerned as to what is a virgin forest and so forth because they have adapted to us as a player in the ecosystem. Gives evidence from a variety of studies that the forests are recuperating, and now she gives the reasons for that.
1. civil war
2. economic globalization
3. structural adjustment politics
4. democratization and decentralization
5.array of new environmental ideologies and programs
Remittances helped this area recuperate. El Salvador is dependent on its export economy and has been hurt by international competition. Shade coffee plantations have been key to maintaining El Salvador’s biodiversity.
Geist and Lambin
Previous studies have given too much emphasis to population growth and shifting cultivation as primary causes of deforestation. Agricultural expansion is the leading land use change for deforestation cases. Deforestation is explained by multiple factors. Subsistence expands faster than commercial. They found that shifting cultivation is not the primary cause of deforestation. . Also high fertility rates are not seen as a primer driver of deforestation. The factors are all related so it is hard to single out one or another.
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