Restricted access

Deforestation is an ongoing concern, perhaps most notably the degradation of the Amazon rainforests. Yet the inescapable conclusion from research at multiple scales - community, region, and country - is that there is nothing inevitable about deforestation. Elinor Ostrom's research on the commons has shown that self-governing communities are often able to manage forests effectively. Institutionalists such as Gary Libecap and Robert Deacon have shown that secure property rights to forests is perhaps the most significant explanation for improvements in forest governance. Still, political considerations are critical: without local democracy, political decision-makers have few incentives to define and enforce property rights in response to local conditions. Social institutions, such as trust and individualism, are also associated with improvements in forest governance. The central conclusion from Chapter 3 is that appropriately designed institutions overcome any pressure of population growth on forests.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Other access options

Redeem Token

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institutional Access

Personal login

Log in with your Elgar Online account

Login with your Elgar account