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Mongabay.com is considered a leading source of information on tropical forests by some of the world's top ecologists and conservationists. TROPICAL RAINFORESTS: References

How to Save Rainforests References - Chapter 10

The quotation at the beginning of the chapter is taken from Schaller, G.B., "Tibet's Hidden Wilderness : Wildlife and Nomads of the Chang Tang Reserve," New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1998.

Statistics for rainforest cover and deforestation during the 1980s comes from State of the World's Forests 1999 (SOFO) published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Myers, N. "Nature's Greatest Heritage Under Threat," Rainforests-The Illustrated Library of the Earth, Norman Myers, ed., Emmaus, Pennsylvania: Rodale Press, 1993.

Agriculture


The background for agriculture in the tropical rainforest draws heavily from T. Nishizawa and J. I. Uitto, eds. (The Fragile Tropics of Latin America: Sustainable Management of Changing Environments, New York: United Nations University Press, 1995) and Smith, N.J.H. et al., Amazonia - Resiliency and Dynamism of the Land and its People, New York: United Nations University Press, 1995. The study which suggests nearly 12% of terre firme forests in the Amazon are anthropogenic is found in Balée, W., "The culture of Amazonian forests," Advances in Economic Botany 7: 1-21, 1989.

Myers, N. estimated in "Nature's Greatest Heritage Under Threat," Rainforests-The Illustrated Library of the Earth, Norman Myers, ed., Emmaus, Pennsylvania: Rodale Press, 1993 that roughly 60% of deforestation is caused by the shifted cultivator.

Skewed land distribution is discussed in Wood, C.H. and M. Schmink, "Blaming the victim: Small farmer production in an Amazon colonization project," Studies in Third World Societies 7: 77-93, 1978; Myers, N. "Nature's Greatest Heritage Under Threat," Rainforests-The Illustrated Library of the Earth, Norman Myers, ed., Emmaus, Pennsylvania: Rodale Press, 1993; and Smith, N.J.H. et al., Amazonia - Resiliency and Dynamism of the Land and its People, New York: United Nations University Press, 1995.

Padoch, C., J. Chota Inurna, W. de Jong, and J. Unruh, "Amazonian agroforestry: A market-oriented system in Peru" Agroforestry Systems 3: 47-58, 1985; Nair, P. K., "State-of-the-art of agroforestry systems," Forest Ecology and Management 45: 5-29, 1991; T. Nishizawa and J. I. Uitto, eds. (The Fragile Tropics of Latin America: Sustainable Management of Changing Environments, New York: United Nations University Press, 1995) and Smith, N.J.H. et al., Amazonia - Resiliency and Dynamism of the Land and its People, New York: United Nations University Press, 1995 discuss polycultural techniques in the rainforest including agroforestry and examines the highly dynamic nature of traditional agriculture in the Amazon.

Greenberg, R. et al., "Bird Populations in Shade and Sun Coffee Plantations in Central Guatemala," Conservation Biology Vol. 11 No. 24 (48-59), Apr. 1997, demonstrate higher biodiversity under agroforestry systems (shade coffee plantations) than conventional coffee plantations.

Home gardens in Amazonia are presented in Smith, N.J.H., "Strategies for sustainable agriculture in the humid tropics," Ecological Economics 2: 311 -323, 1990 and Smith, N.J.H. et al., Amazonia - Resiliency and Dynamism of the Land and its People, New York: United Nations University Press, 1995.

The failure of many Indonesian transmigrant agriculture programs as a result of a lack of planning and administration is discussed in Brookfield, H., Potter, L., and Byron, Y., In Place of the Forest: Environmental and Socio-economic Transformation in Borneo and the Eastern Malay Peninsula (New York: United Nations University Press, 1995),

Myers, N. ("The world's forests: problems and potentials." Environmental Conservation 23 (2) p. 158-168. 1996) estimates the population of subsistence farmers dependent on tropical forests at more than 600 million and projects their growth rate at 4-6% per year.

The Harvest of Sustainable Forest Products

The list of non-wood forest products is taken from State of the World's Forests 1999 (SOFO) published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Examples of sustainable harvest values come from studies in Peru (Peters, C.M., Gentry, A.H., and Mendelsohn, R.O., "Valuation of an Amazonian Rainforest," Nature Vol. 339: 655-656 1989) and Ecuador (Grimes, A. et al., "Valuing the rain forest: the economic value of nontimber forest products in Ecuador," Ambio Vol. 23 No. 7, Nov. 1994).

The Rainforest Action Network (1995) estimates U.S. imports of tropical American nuts at more than $300 million per year.

The story of Chico Mendes is told in Revkin, A.,The Burning Season, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1990, a variation of which has been made into a film having the same name.

P.M. Fearnside reviews extractive reserves in "Extractive Reserves in Brazilian Amazon," BioScience, 39 (6): 387-93, 1993.

The Rainforest Action Network (1996) is assisting in a project to develop the sustainable collection of rattan-like vines in Brazil by the rural poor.

The practice is extracting venom by snakes on farms in the Congo is reported by T'sas, V., "Snake Venom, Congo's next Export?" Reuters 10/20/97.

The "brief history of rubber" box is excerpted from Wade Davis' One River (New York: Touchstone, 1996). Davis provides a broad and insightful look into the rubber business.

The overharvesting of the Wotango tree is discussed in Strieker, Gary, "Mission impossible: conserving Cameroon's natural resources," CNN Online, February 25, 1997.

Caufield, C., (In the Rainforest, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984) lists foods with origins in the rainforest, while Wilson, E.O., (The Diversity of Life, Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press, 1992) notes that only a fraction of the world's edible plants are consumed. He suggests that rainforests could be the source of new fruits, vegetables, and nuts that are better suited to tropical agriculture. Wilson notes that currently only about 200 rainforest fruits are regularly used.

Wilson (The Diversity of Life, Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press, 1992) goes on to point out that almost no tropical animals are exploited on a commercial basis (i.e. raised in farms). He cites several species with potential including the Amazon river turtle (Podocnemis sp). Smith, N.J.H. ("Destructive exploitation of the South American river turtle," Yearbook of the Pacific Coast Geographers 36: 85-102, 1974; and "Aquatic turtles of Amazônia An endangered resource," Biological Conservation 16(3): 165-176, 1979) and Mittermeier, R.A., ("South American River Turtles: Saving Their Future," Oryx, 14 (3): 222-230, 1978) have conducted studies on the viability of Podocnemis farming on Amazonian floodplains and has reached some promising conclusions.

Jared Diamond (Guns, Germs, and Steel (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1998) suggests that the reason these tropical species have never been domesticated is they are poor candidates for domestication, though he does not discount the idea that they could be utilized in some manner.

N. Myers ("Population and Biodiversity," Ambio Vol 24 No. 1, Feb. 1995) and E.O. Wilson (The Diversity of Life, Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press, 1992) discuss the declining diversity of major food crops and the associated dangers of reduced genetic stock. Wilson recalls the near miss with Asian rice and grassy stunt virus in the 1970s, while Tarnowski, A. ("Scientists to Tap Amazon for Disease-Free Cocoa Strains," Reuters, 12/10/97) notes how vulnerable the Ghanan cocoa crop is given its narrow genetic base. Holdgate, M. ("The Ecological Significance of Biological Diversity," Ambio Vol. 25 No. 6, Sept. 1996) runs down the savings from genetic resources. Also see Robinson, J.G. and Reford, K.H., eds. (The Value of Conserving Genetic Resources; Neotropical Wildlife Use and Conservation, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991).

The importance of forests in maintaining food security is reviewed in Pimentel, D., McNair, M., Buck, I., Pimentel, M., and Kamil, J., "The value of forests to world food security," Human Ecology, 1996.

 

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Previous

Solutions Introduction
Sustainable Forest Products
Large-scale Forest Products
Medicinal Drugs
Logging
Logging (con't)
Oil
Conservation Priorities
Reserve Size & Valuation
Organization
Intergovernmental Institutions
Communication, Education
Indigenous people
- - - -
References (1)
References (3)
References (5)

Sustainable Dev - Agriculture
Eco-tourism
Foods & Genetic Diversity
Medicinal Drugs & Pesticides
Logging (con't)
Cattle
Increasing Productivity
Types of Reserves
Funding
Developing nations
NGOs
International Organizations
Conclusion
- - - -
References (2)
References (4)
References (6)

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