Edited by Adam Graycar and Russell G. Smith
Chapter 9: Corruption and Crime in Forestry
1 William B. Magrath 1. INTRODUCTION One of the most profound and far-reaching environmental changes of the last 50 years was the loss of around 25 per cent of the world’s forest area. Concentrated in the tropics, but also involving forests in temperate and boreal areas, deforestation is having global consequences which science and policymakers are still just beginning to recognize. These include an untold loss of biological and genetic diversity with potentially long-term consequences for agriculture and food security and for medicine and human health; a contribution of perhaps one-fifth of the atmospheric load of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming and climate change; disruption to the lives and livelihoods of many of mankind’s most marginalized and disenfranchised cultures and people; and loss of habitat for thousands of species of plants and animals. Going along with deforestation, the forestry sector in the developing world falls short in contributing as it should to social and economic development. Public forest revenues seldom achieve reasonable targets; growth and employment in forest-based industry is frequently distorted and inefficient; the quality of forest science and technology lags badly behind that of other agricultural and natural resource sectors. Remarkably these problems persist; concerted international development assistance efforts, years of international negotiations and consultations and dedicated efforts by countless activists and civil society organizations, have not succeeded in protecting forest resources. Understanding the failure of forestry to thrive is therefore a pressing environmental policy research problem and one that has attracted growing attention. One of...
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