chapter  2
3 Pages

Forest trend in Latin America

Latin America is increasingly wooded. The paper explores some of the reasons the rate of forest clearing has declined so dramatically and woodlands have recovered so quickly. This pattern is often called the ‘forest transition’, which we review in more detail later in the paper. This transition reflects a number of political, institutional, social and market forces at several scales that valorized standing forests and processes that changed rural livelihoods. These dual dynamics suggest significant structural, political and livelihood shifts within a framework of new political ecologies, regionalized and globalized economic, policy and ideological contexts that produced more forest inflected political ecologies. This paper mentions REDD (Reduced Emissions from Degradation and Deforestation) processes only tangentially, largely because REDD has come to so dominate the discourses of Neotropical forests that it has obscured the number of dynamics that shape peasant livelihoods and politics that have constituted the new forested landscapes. The vast literature that engages REDD also deserves a separate treatment that is beyond the scope of this paper. The paper ends up with a discussion of the themes of agrarian change and new contexts might shape the next 40 years of JPS.