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Tropical Deforestation Philippines Case Study

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Title: Tropical Deforestation Philippines Case Study


1
Tropical Deforestation Philippines Case Study
  • October 22, 2008

2
The Political Economy of Tropical Deforestation
  • 1. Most of the benefits of preserving forests
    cannot be captured by the government or the
    people that live in that country.
  • 2. Most of the benefits of preserving forests can
    only be realized over a long period of time, they
    are a STEADY FLOW of income as opposed to a
    one-time harvest.
  • 3. Most of the benefits from CUTTING forests can
    be captured by a small group of powerful elites
    in a country, while the costs of deforestation
    (e.g. flooding) are borne by society as a whole.

3
Background on the Philippines
  • Located in Southeast Asia
  • Over 7,000 islands and over 80 languages spoken
  • A Spanish colony from 1565-1898, an American
    colony from 1898-1946
  • Only Roman Catholic nation in Asia
  • 2000 population 77 million, 2.5 growth rate
    (country the size of Nevada)

4
The Philippines Biodiversity Hotspot
  • The Philippines is one of 25 global biodiversity
    hotspots, and is ranked as the 5th most important
    overall
  • 7,620 species of plants (5,832 are endemic)
  • 179 species of mammals (111 are endemic)
  • 576 species of birds (195 are endemic)
  • 258 species of reptiles (170 are endemic)

5
The Philippine Monkey-eating Eagle
The Tarsier (one of the smallest primates)
6
Forest Cover in the Philippines
  • 1948 52
  • 1969 33
  • 1980 26
  • 1997 18

7
Logging Deforestation link strongest in
Southeast Asian nations (Philippines, Indonesia,
Malaysia) with high-value tropical hardwood
species.
8
Political Economic Context of Deforestation in
the Philippines
  • Urban/Rural poverty failed development,
    corruption
  • 40 billion foreign debt
  • High rates of landlessness, best land
    concentrated in the hands of a few families and
    used to grow EXPORT crops (see foreign debt)
  • Fairly rapid population growth (poverty
    population cycle)
  • Resulted in heavy migration of landless farmers
    into logged over areas and secondary forests via
    logging roads

9
Images from February 2006 landslides in Leyte
10
Programs/Policies to Address Deforestation
  • Land reform
  • Foreign debt forgiveness
  • Extractive reserves/ biosphere reserves (focus on
    extractive products)
  • Eco-tourism
  • Agro-forestry
  • Population policy

11
Solutions to Deforestation Need to Be ..
  • Site and time-specific (no magic bullet)
  • Based on an appreciation of the political
    economy of the region (history, political
    situation, economic conditions)
  • Based on the ROOT causes of the problem
  • Based on a recognition of local people as part of
    the solution, not just part of the problem
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