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Explaining Deforestation: The Role of Local Institutions

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Type: Book Chapter
Author: Gibson, Clark C.; McKean, Margaret A.; Ostrom, Elinor
Book Title: Forest Resources and Institutions
Publisher: Indiana University, International Forestry Resources and Institutions (IFRI) Research Program, Center for the Study of Institutions, Population, and Environmental Change (CIPEC) and Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis
Location: Bloomington, Indiana
Page(s): 1-22
Date: 1998
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/46
Sector: Forestry
Subject(s): IFRI
forest management
institutional analysis--IAD framework
common pool resources
Abstract: "Governments, citizens, and scientists are increasingly concerned about the role of forests in global environmental change. Evidence is mounting from multiple studies that humans at an aggregate level are exploiting forests at unsustainable rates in tropical regions. While some deforestation can be attributed to rational and sustainable transfers of land to agricultural and other valuable uses, unplanned deforestation can generate significant negative externalities: loss of biodiversity, elevated risk of erosion, floods and lowered water tables, and increased release of carbon into the atmosphere associated with global climate change. More importantly, deforestation can decrease the welfare of forest users by eliminating habitat for game species, altering local climates and watersheds, and destroying critical stocks of fuel, fodder, food, and building materials."

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