Mongabay.com is considered a leading source of information on tropical forests by some of the world's top ecologists and conservationists. TROPICAL RAINFORESTS: Imperiled Riches—Threatened Rainforests
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Sao Paulo, Brazil (Photo by R. Butler)

URBANIZATION

By Rhett Butler   |  Last updated July 27, 2012

Urban and residential area expansion cause significant forest loss, both in the consumption of building materials and as a source of land. While urbanization can reduce direct pressures on forests by the migration of rural residents to population centers, urban and suburban sprawl can be damaging when they occur in frontier settlements and boomtowns. A single gold or gem find can quickly swell a population of a remote forest outpost as a sea of prospectors rush to the area in hopes of finding riches.

Centrally planned urban experiments has resulted in tremendous forest loss in parts of the world. Indonesia's massive transmigration program moved some 730,000 families—more than six million people—to the outer islands of New Guinea, Borneo, Sumatra, and Sulawesi in an effort to reduce population pressures on the crowded central islands of Java and Bali. The program was generally seen as a failure since many colonists failed to establish successful farms in the hinterlands while large areas of primary forest were cleared. Today some of the worst fires in Indonesia occurs on these once-forested lands. Conflicts between migrants and original inhabitants remains a problem, especially in places like Indonesian New Guinea.

Rural abandonment can also spur outright conversion of forest by industrial farmers and ranchers, especially in areas suitable for large-scale agriculture. For example, research published in 2007 found that in area where small farmers in Bolivia and Panama have moved to cities, their holdings have not reverted to forest but instead been converted to larger, more intensive agricultural use. Meanwhile in Sumatra and Indonesian Borneo, agroforests once managed by local communities have been widely cleared by palm oil developers and pulp and paper companies.


    Related articles >>







Review questions

:
  • Why are tigers endangered?
  • How can alien or invasive species impact the environment?



Continued / Next:

Hunting/Poaching




Other pages in this section:

A World Imperilled
Threats from Humankind
Economic Restructuring
Logging
Fires
Commercial Agriculture
Hydro, Pollution, Hunting
Debt
Consumption, Conclusion
- - - - -
References
References
References
References
References
Natural forces
Subsistence Activities
Oil Extraction
Mining
War
Cattle Pasture
Fuelwood, Roads, Climate
Population & Poverty

- - - - -
Kids version of this section
- Why are rainforests disappearing?
- Logging
- Agriculture
- Cattle
- Roads
- Poverty


Selection of information sources






For kids

Tour: the Amazon

Rainforest news

Tour: Indonesia's rainforests

 Home
 What's New
 About
 Rainforests
   Mission
   Introduction
   Characteristics
   Biodiversity
   The Canopy
   Forest Floor
   Forest Waters
   Indigenous People
   Deforestation
   Consequences
   Saving Rainforests
   Amazon
   Borneo
   Congo
   New Guinea
   Sulawesi
   REDD
   Country Profiles
   Statistics
   Works Cited
   For Kids
   For Teachers
   Photos/Images
   Expert Interviews
   Rainforest News
  Forest data
   Global deforestation
   Tropical deforestation
   By country
   Deforestation charts
   Regional forest data
   Deforestation drivers
 XML Feeds
 Pictures
 Books
 Education
 Newsletter
 Contact

Nature Blog Network



 CONTENTS
Rainforests
Tropical Fish
News
Madagascar
Pictures
Kids' Site
Languages
TCS Journal
About
Archives
Topics | RSS
Newsletter




 Other languages
Arabic
Bengali
Chinese (CN) (expanded)
Chinese (TW)
Croatian
Danish
Dutch
Farsi
French (expanded)
German (expanded)
Greek
Hindi
Hungarian
Indonesian
Italian
Japanese (expanded)
Javanese
Korean
Malagasy
Malay
Marathi
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese (expanded)
Russian
Slovak
Spanish (expanded)
Swahili
Swedish
Ukrainian



 WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
 Email:


 INTERACT
Facebook
Twitter
Contact
Help
Photo store
Mongabay gear




Recent news




More rainforest news



what's new | rainforests home | for kids | help | madagascar | search | about | languages | contact

Copyright Rhett Butler 1994-2013

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions generated from mongabay.com operations (server, data transfer, travel) are mitigated through an association with Anthrotect,
an organization working with Afro-indigenous and Embera communities to protect forests in Colombia's Darien region.
Anthrotect is protecting the habitat of mongabay's mascot: the scale-crested pygmy tyrant.

"Rainforest" is used interchangeably with "rain forest" on this site. "Jungle" is generally not used.