Chapter

Forest Use and Misuse

Roger D. Stone

in Tropical Forests and the Human Spirit

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2002 | ISBN: 9780520217997
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520936072 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520217997.003.0002
Forest Use and Misuse

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This chapter focuses on the over-exploitation of forest resources for various economic activities, which led to environmental degradation, and discusses how the inclusion of local communities and traditional forest users can help in achieving sustainable development. Logging, increased demand for agricultural land and ranches, poor management and the violation of existing regulations, air pollutants, pests and diseases, forest fires, poor harvesting and silvicultural practices, and climate variations have all resulted in severe forest-losses across the globe. Some of the ill effects of deforestation include siltation of riverways, increased flooding, watershed disruption, and decline in soil fertility. The process of systematic deforestation of Amazonian forests by the Brazilian government for setting up rubber plantations, cattle ranches, and farmlands is also discussed. The survival of forest-dwelling people and their cultures and the survival of the forests are mutually dependant, which makes their access to forestlands and resources and their participation in conserving them important factors for achieving sustainable development.

Keywords: forests; environmental degradation; deforestation; Amazonian forests; sustainable development; watershed disruption; flooding

Chapter.  6727 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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