Pathways to forest transition: Local case studies from the Ecuadorian Andes

Farley, Kathleen A.
June 2010
Journal of Latin American Geography;2010, Vol. 9 Issue 2, preceding p8
Academic Journal
Case Study
Forest transition theory provides a framework for understanding scenarios where countries shift from a period of decreasing to increasing forest cover, through forest regrowth or plantation establishment. National-level research has helped elucidate some of the common pathways among countries that have undergone forest transition. However, the conditions that promote plantation establishment among rural landowners are not well understood. An evaluation of three plantations in the Ecuadorian Andes indicated that rural landowners responded to different priorities, opportunities, and constraints, which translated into different levels of importance for each of the proposed pathways to forest transition. In these cases, the most important pathways were associated with globalization and decisions by smallholders to use tree-based strategies to try to restore land or provide economic diversification. This study suggests that these pathways deserve further attention, particularly in developing country contexts or cases where forest transition is dominated by plantations.


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