Sustainable Forest Management and Global Climate Change

Sustainable Forest Management and Global Climate Change

Selected Case Studies from the Americas

Edited by Mohammed H.I. Dore and Rubén Guevara

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change recognises that, in the formulation of a global strategy for reducing global emissions of carbon (the main factor in global warming) forests could play an important role. This book highlights that role and demonstrates how the forests of the world may be harvested judiciously and sustainably. The authors argue that the forests are more than just a source of timber and wood; they discuss the role that forests play in reducing global warming, in preventing soil erosion and in helping to minimise the loss of biodiversity. Drawing on the expertise of contributors associated with the analysis of forests, this book is an in depth and fascinating discussion as well as a policy guide for the sustainable management of forests.

Chapter 2: Integrating socioeconomic and biophysical data with a GIS to plan sustainable resource management efforts in Central America

Steven Shultz

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, environment, climate change, environmental economics, management natural resources


Steven Shultz INTRODUCTION Sustainable resource management efforts in Central America and in many other tropical regions of the world are often focused on the watershed level of analysis and commonly promote soil conservation, agroforestry and reforestation techniques among small hillside farmers (Lutz et al., 1995; Current et al., 1995). Regularly needed information for planning and implementing such activities includes the identification of critical land areas, the selection of appropriate resource management practices and, finally, the estimation of the costs and benefits of such practices. It is argued here that, for such resource planning and management efforts to be effective and sustainable over time, they must take account of biophysical, socioeconomic and institutional processes which together influence resource use, land use degradation and the adoption of natural resource management technologies by farmers. The importance of including socioeconomic data in the identification of critical areas within watersheds and protected areas is obvious: critical land uses are a result not only of biophysical characteristics of land areas, but of the actions, interests and behaviour of the people who live and work on these lands. More specifically, it is necessary to estimate the likelihood that local farmers and resource users will participate in soil conservation programmes, reforestation projects and/or natural forest management programmes. Similarly, in cases where the government intends to purchase critical lands in order to establish protected areas, it is necessary to know the corresponding production or property values in order to estimate the costs of government...

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