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Can Privatization Conserve the Global Biodiversity Commons? Tropical Reforestation through Globalization

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Kull, Christian A.; Ibrahim, Camellia K.; Meredith, Thom
Conference: Survival of the Commons: Mounting Challenges and New Realities, the Eleventh Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Bali, Indonesia
Conf. Date: June 19-23, 2006
Date: 2006
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/471
Sector: General & Multiple Resources
Forestry
Region: Central America & Caribbean
Africa
Subject(s): IASC
reforestation--tropics
globalization
biodiversity
conservation
privatization
Abstract: "Biodiversity has come to be seen as a sort of global commons in recent decades. Its conservation is promoted for the common good of humanity (and nature) and this logic is used to justify global interventions in local places. This global environmental agenda is arguably part of 'globalization', just as much as liberal economic agendas and booming tourism and migration. This paper investigates the impacts of globalization (the increase in global flows of capital, goods, people, and ideas) on the biodiversity commons, specifically tropical forests. Normally, globalization is blamed for causing tropical deforestation. However, some facets of globalization - the liberal agenda and its drive for privatization, the global conservation agenda, movements of people - may work synergistically to conserve biodiversity in certain places. This paper investigates the impact of these processes on forests in two conservation hot-spots. A case study in southwestern Costa Rica shows how feedback between expatriate investment in real estate, market-driven government environmental policy, a marginalized agricultural sector, and outmigration of farmers is leading to a forest cover turnaround. In Madagascar, however, despite recent legislation facilitating land purchase and private conservation initiatives, important obstacles remain before similar trends could emerge. In conclusion, despite its sometimes problematic implications for social equity, globalization can, in certain cases, lead to biodiversity conservation."

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