To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
The remaining large patches of lowland forest in Tanintharyi, southern Myanmar, are the last global stronghold for the Endangered Gurney's pitta Hydrornis gurneyi. Except for a few individuals, the remaining population is now restricted to this forest, below 150 m altitude, mostly within the Nga Wun, Lenya, and Parchan Reserved Forests. However, as in much of South-east Asia, Tanintharyi has been subjected to extensive deforestation, particularly for oil palm cultivation. The aim of this research was to determine the extent of remaining habitat suitable for Gurney's pitta. During January–October 2016 we revisited 142 locations (of 147) where the species was detected during 2003–2012, and found it in only 41 of those locations (29%); in all other locations the forest had been cleared. We measured the decline of suitable habitat since 1999 by examining all available intact forest in areas with elevations < 150 m and slope < 10 °. In less than 2 decades suitable habitat has declined from 3,225 to 656 km2 (80%). Protection of remaining lowland forest is now critical. Although the expansion of oil palm cultivation has slowed since its peak in the early 2000s, two national parks proposed by the Myanmar government in 2002, which would potentially offer legal protection for most of the remaining Gurney's pitta habitat, remain on hold because of political uncertainties. We recommend an alternative conservation approach for this species, based on an Indigenous Community Conserved Area model, and further research to improve knowledge of the species and to determine how it could be saved from extinction.
Tropical forest regions in equatorial Africa are threatened with degradation, deforestation and biodiversity loss as a result of land-cover change. We investigated historical land-cover dynamics in unprotected forested areas of the Littoral Region in south-western Cameroon during 1975–2017, to detect changes that may influence this important biodiversity and wildlife area. Processed Landsat imagery was used to map and monitor changes in land use and land cover. From 1975 to 2017 the area of high-value forest landscapes decreased by c. 420,000 ha, and increasing forest fragmentation caused a decline of c. 12% in the largest patch index. Conversely, disturbed vegetation, cleared areas and urban areas all expanded in extent, by 32% (c. 400,000 ha), 5.6% (c. 26,800 ha) and 6.6% (c. 78,631 ha), respectively. The greatest increase was in the area converted to oil palm plantations (c. 26,893 ha), followed by logging and land clearing (c. 34,838 ha), all of which were the major factors driving deforestation in the study area. Our findings highlight the increasing threats facing the wider Littoral Region, which includes Mount Nlonako and Ebo Forest, both of which are critical areas for regional conservation and the latter a proposed National Park and the only sizable area of intact forest in the region. Intact forest in the Littoral Region, and in particular at Ebo, merits urgent protection.
This article investigates the production of conservation science at nodes of transnational networks of encounter through an examination of field studies conducted during the mid-1920s in North China's Shanxi province by the American forester and soil conservation expert Walter C. Lowdermilk with his student, colleague, and collaborator Ren Chengtong. Even in the politically fragmented China of the 1920s, their research on deforestation, streamflow, and erosion benefited from alliances with Shanxi's regional powerholder, Yan Xishan, and produced environmental knowledge that furthered the agenda of harnessing natural resources to strengthen the state. By paying attention to two-way interactions between Chinese and foreign actors in the construction and transmission of knowledge about nature, the article speaks to the global context of the early twentieth-century conservation movement and adds to recent scholarship that recasts China's encounter with modern science as one of active appropriation, translation, and innovation rather than passive reception.
The chapter proposes public participation as a principle of ‘good’ energy governance that legitimatises energy decisions and fosters their social acceptance. Adopting a public international law perspective, it highlights how the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention) constrains domestic decision making in the energy sector. Paying special attention to the contribution of the committee charged with reviewing state compliance with the convention’s obligations, it offers a detailed analysis of its conclusions and recommendations in the context of two cases: the United Kingdom’s decision to build a nuclear power station in Hinkley Point and the design of a renewable energy policy in Scotland. On that basis, the chapter concludes on the increasingly important role that international law plays in democratising energy decision-making processes.
In this chapter, we discuss the evolution of the field of ‘ethics of nuclear energy’, regarding its past, present and future. We will first review the history of this field in the previous four decades, focusing on new and emerging challenges of nuclear energy production and waste disposal, in light of several important developments. Four of the most pressing ethical challenges will be further reviewed in the chapter. First, what is a morally ‘acceptable’ nuclear energy production method, if we consider the existing and possible new technologies? Second, provided a new tendency to consider nuclear waste disposal with several countries, what would be the new ethical and governance challenges of these multinational collaborations? Third, how should we deal with the (safety) challenges of the new geographic distribution of nuclear energy, tilting towards emerging economies with less experience with nuclear technology? Fourth, nuclear energy projects engender highly emotional controversies. Neither ignoring the emotions of the public nor taking them as a reason to prohibit or restrict a technology – we call them technocratic populist pitfalls respectively – seem to be able to guide responsible policy making.
Anthropogenic habitat alteration and invasive species are threatening carnivores globally. Understanding the impact of these factors is critical for creating localized, effective conservation programmes. Madagascar's Eupleridae have been described as the least studied and most threatened group of carnivores. We investigated the effects of habitat degradation and the presence of people and exotic species on the modelled occupancy of the endemic fosa Cryptoprocta ferox, conducting camera-trap surveys in two western deciduous forests, Ankarafantsika National Park and Andranomena Special Reserve. Our results indicated no clear patterns between habitat degradation and fosa occupancy but a strong negative association between cats Felis sp. and fosas. Cat occupancy was negatively associated with birds and positively associated with contiguous forest and narrow trails. In contrast, dog Canis lupus familiaris occupancy was best predicted by wide trails, degraded forest and exotic civets. Our results suggest fosas are capable of traversing degraded landscapes and, in the short term, are resilient to contiguous forest disturbance. However, high occupancy of cats and dogs in the landscape leads to resource competition through prey exploitation and interference, increasing the risk of transmission of potentially fatal diseases. Management strategies for exotic carnivores should be considered, to reduce the widespread predation of endemic species and the transmission of disease.
In 2008, the Brazilian government blacklisted municipalities in the Amazon to better target efforts to repress deforestation. Not only were law enforcement and monitoring activities intensified, but also economic sanctions and political pressures were imposed on those municipalities. We use a differences-in differences approach to compare deforestation reduction in blacklisted municipalities and non-blacklisted municipalities. We find that: (i) the blacklisting has significantly reduced deforestation; and (ii) this effect was primarily driven by the monitoring and law enforcement channel – there is no effect on agricultural production or credit concessions.
The rate of deforestation in the Amazon is increasing. Predictive models estimate that as a result of agricultural expansion 40% of these forests will be lost by 2050. As a consequence the habitat of forest-dwelling species such as the Endangered black-faced black spider monkey Ateles chamek is being lost, particularly along the arc of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. We used species distribution modelling to (1) define the distribution of this spider monkey, using environmental predictors, (2) calculate the area of this distribution covered by the protected area network, and (3) calculate the expected loss of the species’ habitat under future scenarios of deforestation. We found that the species occupies only c. 28% of its extent of occurrence. Only 32% of the species’ area of occupancy is legally protected, and the modelling suggests that 31–40% of the species’ habitat will be lost by 2050. We highlight three unprotected regions with extensive forest cover that are predicted to become severely deforested by 2050 as priority regions for expanding the protected area network. We also propose landscape management and restoration in three human-modified regions. Our study provides an example of how species distribution modelling can be applied to assess threats to species and support decision makers in implementing conservation actions.
Embrapa (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation) is the most important Brazilian agricultural research institute and has recently published a study on the preservation status of forest fragments in more than 5 million rural properties. The authors concluded that no institution, public authority or professional category helps more in preserving Brazilian biomes than farmers (Miranda et al. 2017). The aim of the current paper is to demonstrate that these conclusions are hasty and that the real Brazilian flora preservation status in rural properties remains unknown.
Decision-makers need readily accessible tools to understand the potential impacts of alternative policies on forest cover and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to develop effective policies to meet national and international targets for biodiversity conservation, sustainable development and climate change mitigation. Land change modelling can support policy decisions by demonstrating potential impacts of policies on future deforestation and GHG emissions. We modelled land change to explore the potential impacts of expert-informed scenarios on deforestation and GHG emissions, specifically CO2 emissions, in the Ankeniheny–Zahamena Corridor in eastern Madagascar. We considered four scenarios: business as usual; effective conservation of protected areas; investment in infrastructure; and agricultural intensification. Our results highlight that effective forest conservation could deliver substantial emissions reductions, while infrastructure development will likely cause forest loss in new areas. Agricultural intensification could prevent additional forest loss if it reduced the need to clear more land while improving food security. Our study demonstrates how available land change modelling tools and scenario analyses can inform land-use policies, helping countries reconcile economic development with forest conservation and climate change mitigation commitments.
This paper considers the timing and mechanisms of deforestation in the Western Isles of Scotland, focusing in particular on the landscape around the Calanais stone circles, one of the best preserved late Neolithic/early Bronze Age monumental landscapes in north-west Europe. We present new archaeological and palaeoenvironmental evidence from a soil and peat sequence at the site of Aird Calanais, which spans the main period of use of the Calanais circles. We then draw on a new synthesis of archaeobotanical and palynological evidence from across the Western Isles and a review of comparable data from the wider North Atlantic zone, before assessing the role of early farming communities in clearing the wooded landscapes of the region. Pollen and radiocarbon dating at the site of Aird Calanais reveal that a layer of birch branches, dating to the late Neolithic (2912–2881 cal bc), was contemporaneous with a decline in woodland at the site, as well as with the major phase of Neolithic activity at the Calanais stone circle complex. However, our synthesis of the pollen and plant macrofossil evidence from across the Western Isles suggests that the picture across these islands was altogether more complex: woodlands declined both before, as well as during, the Neolithic and deciduous woodlands remained sufficiently abundant for Neolithic fuel procurement. Finally, we consider the implications of the results for understanding the interactions between first farmers and woodlands in the wider North Atlantic region.
A recent trend of regreening formerly bare hills in central Vietnam is often described in the media as a form of recovery from 1960s wartime destruction. However, this modern framework of wartime “wasting” and regreening obscures a longer history of bare hills. Colonial explorers noted eroded slopes in 1877, and imperial land surveyors described stretches of “idle, fallow land” decades earlier. This article describes a longer history of a “wasteland” not only to challenge a presentist framing of environmental decline but also to recognize the historic roles people played in producing these spaces, often in response or resistance to state policies. Colonial engagements with land clearing and customary uses of “open” lands gave shape to colonial visions of “wasteland” and later spurred colonial environmentalist critiques, even calls for a new form of green colonialism via exotic tree plantations. Writing the history of such a “wasteland” is one way to decenter imperial, colonial, and nationalist teleologies that tend to emphasize the environmental “footprints” of state actions but not the reverse. This history of “bare hills” draws from a mix of historical sources to show how people produced this “wasteland” and why, at times, they maintained it despite state efforts at reclamation.
Despite the plethora of discourse about how sustainable development should be pursued, the production of agricultural commodities is held responsible for driving c. 80% of global deforestation. Partially as a response, the private sector has made commitments to eliminate deforestation, but it is not yet clear what factors these commitments should take into account to effectively halt deforestation while also contributing to broader sustainable development. In the context of private sector commitments to zero-deforestation, this study characterizes the perceptions of different types of stakeholders along the cocoa and chocolate supply chain in order to determine the main challenges and solutions to encourage sustainable production. The main purpose is to understand the key factors that could facilitate a transition to a more sustainable supply while harmonizing the multiple actors’ interests. A qualitative thematic analysis of perceptions was conducted based on responses from 59 interviews with different stakeholders along the cocoa and chocolate supply chain in six key producing and consuming countries. Thematic analysis of the responses revealed six main themes: (1) make better use of policies, regulations and markets to help promote sustainability; (2) improve information and data (e.g., impacts of climate change on cocoa) to inform sound interventions; (3) focus on the landscape rather than the farm-level alone and improve integration of supply chain actors; (4) promote better coordination between stakeholders and initiatives (e.g., development assistance projects and corporate sustainability efforts); (5) focus on interdependent relationships between social, environmental and economic dimensions to achieve sustainable development; and (6) engage with the private sector. The study shows the importance of identifying different stakeholder priorities in order to design solutions that accommodate multiple interests. It also emphasizes the need to improve coordination and communication between stakeholders and instruments in order to address the three different dimensions of sustainability in a synergistic manner, considering the interactions from production of raw material to end consumer.
This article investigates the use of payments for environmental services to support a wildlife corridor between two Priority Tiger Conservation Landscapes in central Sumatra, Indonesia. Several hundred smallholders operate within a Protection Forest linking the Tiger Conservation Landscapes. This study explores the willingness of these smallholders to accept a payment requiring them to forgo access to their land for five years. In addition to asking households directly what they would be willing to accept (WTA), we also ask them to infer what their neighbour would accept. The study finds evidence of hypothetical bias in the conventional WTA values, with a statistically significant difference between what people say they would be willing to accept when surveyed, compared to what they say would actually be willing to accept in a ‘real life’ situation. We show how inferred valuation techniques can mitigate against this.
Deforestation results from the trade-off between benefits from forest conservation and economic profits associated with land development. However, as net gains are often uncertain, irreversible land development may later be regretted. To better inform conservation policies, we use a real options framework to model irreversible forest conversion under uncertain conservation benefits and determine the associated optimal long-run average rate of deforestation. We then analyze the impact of the demand for agricultural products on the rate of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. In a scenario analysis for the nine states of the Brazilian Amazon, we calculate: (i) the expected time for exhaustion of the current forest stock; and (ii) the potential forest coverage for the next 20, 100 and 200 years. Our results suggest that if forest benefits grow over time at a sufficiently high speed, they may significantly slow down deforestation. In contrast, the higher their volatility, the faster deforestation proceeds.
This paper examines the impact of changes in agricultural land use on deforestation at the local level in the Tapajós Basin in the Brazilian Amazon. It uses exogenous variation in crop-to-beef relative prices to investigate the effects of pasture-to-cropland conversion on deforestation. The findings indicate that increases in crop-to-beef relative prices increase the rate of pasture-to-cropland conversion and reduce the rate of deforestation. The magnitude of the effects implies that land conversion reduced deforestation at the local level by 5,300 square kilometers from 2002 to 2012. This reduction is the equivalent of almost 15 per cent of the total deforestation observed in the region during this period. These results are consistent with a land use model in which cattle ranching and crop cultivation have different input-intensities and there is imperfect mobility of productive factors between municipalities. This model highlights the fact that changes in relative prices affect deforestation through its effect on input prices.
We analyze links between exposure to climate extremes and shocks, vulnerability and coping strategies, environmental reliance and poverty among 7,300 households in forest adjacent communities in 24 developing countries. We combine observed income with predicted income to create four categories of households: income & asset poor (structurally poor), income rich & asset poor (stochastically non-poor), income poor & asset rich (stochastically poor) and income & asset rich (structurally non-poor), and assess exposure and vulnerability across these groups. The income poor are more exposed to extreme climate conditions. They tend to live in dryer (and hotter) villages in the dry forest zones, in wetter villages in the wet zones, and experience larger rainfall fluctuations. Among the income-generating coping strategies, extracting more environmental resources ranks second to seeking wage labor. The poorest in dry regions also experience the highest forest loss, undermining the opportunities to cope with future climate shocks.
Identifying the drivers of bushmeat consumption and hunting is important for informing conservation strategies and recognizing challenges to human food security. However, studies often neglect the importance of landscape context, which can influence bushmeat supply and demand. Here, by quantifying bushmeat consumption and hunting in 262 households in a post-frontier region in Amazonia, we tested the hypotheses that bushmeat consumption and hunting are positively associated with two landscape characteristics: (1) forest cover, which has been shown to define game availability; and (2) remoteness, which is related to limited access to marketed meat. Bushmeat consumption was widespread but more likely in remote forested areas. Hunting was more likely in more forested areas, especially nearer to urban centres. Our findings suggest that bushmeat remains an important food source even in heavily altered forest regions and that landscape context is an important determinant of bushmeat consumption and hunting. Although people living in remote, forested areas are likely to be the most dependent on bushmeat, those living in more populous, peri-urban areas are likely the actors contributing most to total hunting effort, due to a higher probability of hunting combined with higher human population densities. This finding undermines the assumption that rural–urban migration in the tropics will deliver a much-needed reprieve for many overhunted species.
In many developing countries, high rates of deforestation and biodiversity loss make conservation efforts urgent. Improving existing land-use plans can be an option for enhancing biodiversity conservation. We showcase an approach to enhancing an existing forest land-use plan using widely available data and spatial tools, focusing on Argentina's Southern Yungas ecoregion. We mapped the distribution of wilderness areas and species and habitats of conservation concern, assessed their representation in the land-use plan and quantified potential changes in habitat availability and forest connectivity. Wilderness comprised 48% of the study area, and the highest concentrations of elements of conservation concern were in the north. In the current land-use plan, wilderness areas often occur in regions where logging and grazing are allowed, and a large proportion of the forest with the highest conservation value (43%) is under some level of human influence. Furthermore, we found that deforestation being legally allowed in the land-use plan could reduce forest connectivity and habitat availability substantially. We recommend updating the current land-use plan by considering human influence and elements of conservation concern. More broadly, we demonstrate that widely available spatial datasets and straightforward approaches can improve the usefulness of existing land-use plans so that they more fully incorporate conservation goals.
Species composition of wild reservoir hosts can influence the transmission and maintenance of multi-host vector borne pathogens. The ‘pace of life’ hypothesis proposes that the life history strategy of reservoir hosts can influence pathogen transmission of vector borne generalist pathogens. We use empirical data to parameterize a mathematical model that investigates the impacts of host life history traits on vector transmission dynamics of the vector-borne multi-host parasite Trypanosoma cruzi in habitats characterized by different degrees of deforestation and varying host community structure. The model considers susceptible and infected vector and host populations. When comparing the proportion of vectors infected with T. cruzi predicted by the model with empirical data, we found a trend of increasing vector infection as anthropogenic landscape disturbance increases for both data and model output. The model's vector infection rates were significantly lower than empirical results, but when incorporating host congenital transmission in the model, vector infection approaches field data. We conclude that intervened habitats associated with r-selected host species communities predict higher proportions of infected vectors.