February/25/1998/ELAN: Re: Article on shrimp
farming in The Economist
Wed, 25 Feb 1998 13:00:26 -0800
I see two posting that make claims without pointing to evidence. Each one
points to consequences opposed by political movements. For those of us not
familiar with the issues:
(1)Where are the facts that back up the claims that shrimp farming: "Has
serious social and environmental justice concerns. . .raised. . .by
coastal peoples in the developing world?"
(2) Where are the facts that "thousands of poor fisher folk and farmers in
tropical coastal zones have been deprived of access to vital coastal
resources that, in turn, has negatively affected rural livelihoods?"
(3) Where is the evidence that there are adverse economic or "human
nutritional consequences" to cultured shrimp?
(4) How and where does shrimp farming "destroys the local
environment and the local economies"?
(5) Demonstrate how "science" is used to "to avoid sustainability concerns"?
(6) Where is there information that shows that "costs of these activities
outweight the benefits"?
(7) Do environmental regulations exist for shrimp farming.? If so, why is
it not enforced? Are these not activities permitted and promoted by Ecuador
Point the Economist to these sources and I'm sure that you will find a
thoughtful and probably sympathetic article and a more sympathetic audience.
Are there some WWW links that might be useful?
May/02/1998/ELAN: Sostenido o Sostenible o Sustentable
Fri, 01 May 1998 22:54:26 -0600
Estimados Ron y Lucio,
Efectivamente la inquietud planteada en cuanto a la confusion de
terminos en la region es cierta. En primer lugar existe polemica en
utilizar sustentable o sostenible. Al traducir sustainable del ingles
parece que se han utilizado ambos terminos indiferentemente, tal como
ocurre con empowerment traducido como empoderamiento pero que conceptua
mejor la palabra potenciacion.
En una primera simplificacion podriamos decir que ambos terminos
encierran el mismo significado, aunque el concepto sustentable en
español deriva de sustento (con ello se asocia el alimento, seguridad
alimentaria, satisfaccion nutricional) y en ese sentido lo asociamos
directamente a la naturaleza y lo ambiental.
En ese razonamiento al decir sostenible podriamos estar hablando de un
desarrollo que ademas de priorizar lo ambiental (sustentable) incluye lo
económico, cultural, social y politico, aplicando los elementos del
paradigma propuesto por PNUD: sustentabilidad, potenciacion, equidad,
cooperacion y seguridad. Entonces, sostenibilidad incluiria los cinco
Asi las cosas, cuando decimos sostenido hablamos de un desarrollo a
estado estable, es decir, mantenido en el tiempo, pero que no
necesariamente es un desarrollo que proteja el ambiente, o sea no
sustentable, y por ende no sostenible.
Creo que todo esto da origen a confusion. Sin embargo esta claro que
queda desechado el utilizar sostenido para referirse al desarrollo
preservando la naturaleza, puesto que el termino en si no lo garantiza.
Me interesaria escuchar la opinion de Uds.
May/02/1998/ELAN: Re: Sostenido o Sostenible o Sustentable
Sat, 2 May 1998 12:26:24 -0400
El término sustentable, del verbo sustentar, tiene el significado de dar
sustento, tal y como lo expresa el diccionario de la Real Academia Española
de la Lengua.
Esto implica la acción de un sujeto a otro sujeto, una acción que viene de
afuera hacia otro determinado sujeto, no la acción de un sujeto sobre sí
Para mí el término que puede ser correcto es sostenible, que se sostiene a
sí mismo. O sea, que se mantiene a sí mismo.
Sin querer faltar el respeto a mi religión (además soy practicante
católica), pongo como ejemplo bien descriptivo y con todas las distancias
bien guardadas, la diferencia que existe entre el término sustentable y
sostenible que me lleva a pensar en la diferencia que existe entre la
Asunción de la Virgen María y la Ascención de Jesús.
En relación al término sostenido, estoy de acuerdo con Federico Salazar
May/02/1998/ELAN: Re: Sostenido o Sostenible o Sustentable
Sat, 2 May 1998 15:46:39 -0600 (MDT)
Yo tambien prefiero, por ya citados motivos, el usar sostenible. Pero me
parece mucho mas importante la definicion que se le de que el uso del
termino. Todas la definiciones que yo he conocido (comenzando por la de
NU) o son utopicas o demasiado generales e impracticables.
May/04/1998/ELAN: Sostenido o Sostenible o Sustentable
Mon, 04 May 1998 19:45:40 +0000
Estimados y estimadas colegas de ELAN,
Me parecen muy constructivas las observaciones de Ron, Lucio, Federico y
Ana con respecto a las definiciones de los terminos en mencion.
Si me permiten un poco de humor serio, se podria decir que al usar estos
terminos, se trata de comunicar que:
- es deseable lograr la sostenibilidad del sustento (tanto
biofisico-ecologico como economico, social-cultural, y espiritual); y
- se reconoce ya que es obvia la insostenibilidad insustentabilidad del
desarrollo tradicional o convencional sostenido.
Ahora, en cuanto a que' termino se "debe" usar en espanhol, me parece
que cada pais o institucion ha tomado ya su decision, basada en su
propia traduccion del ingles "sustainable development", lineamiento
operacional que ha sido traspuesto y comprendido (por lo menos a nivel
teorico) y diseminado por casi todo el mundo.
Me parece que el tratar de estandarizar el termino en espanhol, si bien
es lo ideal, ya no es posible. Cambiar de terminos puede ser como
cambiar de modas: solo causa mas confusion, especialmente a nivel de la
implementacion de proyectos de sustentabilidad ecoamigable en los paises
de habla hispana. Si para estos es "sostenible" y para otros
"sustentable" y para aquellos es "sostenido" (y en lo personal este
ultimo no me parece correcto, pero en fin...), que asi sea, con tal de
que la implementacion del concepto abarque los sub-conceptos de
sustentabilidad ambiental sostenida, potenciacion (libertad), equidad
(justicia), cooperacion y seguridad, etc., que menciono Federico.
Lo que trato de expresar es: que la polemica sobre semantica no afecte
los trabajos innovadores de la gente en el campo, donde los debates de
salon tienen muy poco que ver con la necesidad de alimentarse y
albergarse, ganarse los centavos, educar a los hijos e hijas, y proteger
o rehabilitar el ecosistema que nos da sustento.
Por otro lado, y en relacion a lo que mencionaba Lucio, considero que la
"sustentabilidad mantenida (sostenida)" es la meta. Esto tiene
implicaciones a nivel de proceso.
Como ejemplo, la evaluacion de impacto ambiental o EIA, que incluye lo
biofisico y lo socioeconomico (para ponerlo en breve), se usa hoy en dia
como herramienta tecnica y del proceso regulador, para determinar si una
accion (proyecto, programa, politica) es aceptable o no desde el punto
de vista ambiental (y de planificacion y reglamentacion). Hace un par de
anhos un colega canadiense, Jim Norris, planteo que la EIA deberia de
ser sustituida por la evaluacion de sostenibilidad ambiental o ESA.
Decia que ya no se trata solo de evaluar impactos sino de cerciorarse
que la accion propuesta cumple o no con los lineamientos del desarrollo
Claro esta que a nivel del analisis especifico todavia se habra de
considerar los distintos impactos y las medidas de prevencion y
mitigacion, pero a nivel del objetivo del proceso, todo lo anterior va
dirigido hacia la decision sobre la sostenibilidad/sustentabilidad de la
propuesta que se esta evaluando.
May/05/1998/ELAN: Re: Sostenido o Sostenible o Sustentable
Tue, 05 May 1998 10:45:00 +0000
Gracias por tus comentarios y aclaraciones.
La ES (evaluacion de sostenibilidad) se prodria aplicar a cualquier
nivel: pograma, politica o proyecto, no crees? segun la necesidad del
caso. Los operarios a nivel de planificacion nacional (politica) o
regional (programa) la aplicarian de forma un poco distinta de aquellos
que operan a nivel de proyecto.
Idealmente, las criterios de aceptabilidad de un proyecto determinado
serian dados en parte por los lineamientos de una pilitica o programa
basado en la comprension del concepto "sostenibilidad". Sin embargo, no
en todos casos existe ya el programa o la politica que establecen el
contexto en el que se desarrollaria el proyecto. Los criterios
generales que definen la sostenibilidad (o la concordancia con la
ideologia rigente de DS) serian similares; pero los criterios de
aceptabilidad a nivel de proyecto tendrian que ser mas especificos,
porque se trata ya de acciones o comportamientos fisicos sobre el
No cabe duda que el cambio de modalidad del desarrollo, del "sostenido"
al "sostenible", va a tomar tiempo, pero ya se esta dando (vease por
ejemplo, http://arenalproject.org/ ). Me parece que la elegancia y la
esperanza del "sostenible" (por lo menos en base a mis observaciones a
nivel de programa y proyecto en Centroamerica), es el aspecto de
independencia y/o autogestion que mencionas.
May/28/1998/ELAN: Thanks for interesting conversation
Thu, 28 May 1998 09:33:39 -0700 (PDT)
Thanks to all participants for the interesting and informative conversation
about slash-and-burn agriculture. It's the kind of thing that keeps
non-scientists like me 'listening in' to ELAN.
May/31/1998/ELAN: Sustainable slashing and burning
Sun, 31 May 1998 21:57:01 -0500
> Dear Friends. The literature suggest that permanent agriculture
>can be made sustainable, and that a lot of efforts are being made in that
>direction. Can slush and burn agriculture be made sustainable too?. It
>seems like it used to be or appeared to be!. What are the pros and cons
>of permanet agriculture and slash and burn agriculture?. I think that the
>careful consideration of these issues may lead to some possible
>ways/options to address the problem at the local level, including
>priorities for funding/incentives.
Greetings to all.
Focusing on the idea of "slash and burn agriculture" confuses the issue of
sustainable agriculture in the tropics. What is slash and burn agriculture?
The practice of clearing and burning a field to prepare it for planting?
Some soils require burning to be productive at all (and probably shouldn't
be planted to begin with). Burning is a land management tool. It can be
used in a variety of situations and is often misused out of ignorance (as
when cattlemen burn grass thinking they are "improving" their pasturelands)
or desperation (as when marginal or refugee farmers clear a patch of forest
somewhere to plant a food crop hoping they might still be around to harvest
Is it "shifting cultivation"? This term also conjures up "shifty" peasants
destroying tropical forests. Yet shifting cultivation, as a system of
integrating agriculture into a managed ecological succession has proved
itself sustainable under certain circumstances. It is usually said that
such a system can only be sustainable under low demographic density due to
the long fallow cycles required. But actually, this is a myth. The
limiting factor is the degree of labor that can be dervoted to management
of the various stages of agroecological succession. Shifting cultivation
is capable of considerable intensification if the rotations are managed
properly. The cycle for recovery of high secondary forest can be as little
as 8 to 10 year under intensive management. Long term residents in
tropical rainforests know how to do this, but their systems are being
replaced almost everywhere by lamd use patterns involving permanent
conversion of forest to other land uses, such as grazing, plantation
monoculture or various forms of "industrial" agriculture. What we think of
most often as "slash and burn" agriculture is usually just a process of
planting a crop on forest ashes on the cleared land before implementing
one of those systems. Forest-fallow farming, in which land uses are cycled
from forest to crops, through forest gardens or diverse plantations and
back to enriched forest again, can certainly be an integral part of a
sustainable agroecosystem in tropical areas. Fire may or may not be a tool
used in these systems. Usually it is more desirable to utilize biomass in
other ways than burning it in such intensive systems.
The real question is when are we going to stop thinking of small farmers in
the tropics as "shifty slashers" and let them (if we can't help them) make
a decent life for themselves. They could significantly contribute to
regional food security and even to global agriculture it they were given
half a chance. They could also contribute greatly to conservation and
restoration of vast degraded rural areas. Indeed it would seem that the
future of natural resources in Latin America largely depend on the fate of
these, million of men, women and children who still live on the land, and
who, in many cases, possess wisdom about how to do that.
regards to all (It raining in Chiapas tonight, folks. Rejoice!)
June/15/1998/ELAN: Re: Perverse Subsidies
Mon, 15 Jun 1998 11:41:21 -0600 (MDT)
On Mon, 15 Jun 1998, Toledo/Lucio Munoz wrote:
> Just a thought(before reading the book): if economic subsidies
> are perverse, what about social subsidies or environmental subsidies?.
I don't believe the authors claim that ALL economic subsidies are
> Given the fact that subsidies(incentives) are usually needed
> to promote desired behaviour, the question is how to make all perverse
> subsidies non-perverse.
This is very simple (at least in theory), simply by eliminating them!
> The answer should point toward "sustainability", not toward sustainable
> development, but it seems not to be the case. Any
What is the difference? or should I say, what is your difference?
July/01/1998/ELAN: On the Comments About Industrialization,
Environmental Impact, and Country Size.
Wed, 1 Jul 1998 06:41:22 -0400
Thanks for the clarification. I've always wondered why Mexico, Brazil, and
Venezuela had been saved from any environmental problems associated with
On June 30, 1998, 7:11pm, Toledo/Lucio Munoz Wrote:
Just a comment:
The apparent correlation between environmental problems
and industrialization may be affected by the size of the country and the
rate of industrialization. The smaller the country and resource base and
the higher the rate of industrialization, the more severe the
environmental problem should be expected to be. Apparently El Salvador
has had historically one of the highest rate of industrialization(eg. land
convertion with respect to its size) among Central American Countries and
it is a fact that it is the smallest.
Hence, the level of environmental degradation should not be a suprised
given that those models of industrialization were being promoted in the
past as the best way to go and environmental impacts were assumed
to be minimal.
On the other hand, it may be possible that the level of
environmental degradation was already critical before the land reform and
conflict that took place in el Salvador since the late 1970s. Hence the
model described below may be working, but not as desired or planned
because the enviromental impacts may be close the the maximum.
Comments are welcome to exchange ideas.
On Tue, 30 Jun 1998, bunny wrote:
> 2. SAN FRANCISCO GOTERA, El Salvador
> Some economists argue that developing nations invariably experience
> severe environmental problems as they industrialize their economies.
> But many argue that the model doesn't work for this tiny Central
> American nation because its problems are already critical.
July/22/1998/ELAN: Re: "Subsidizing Unsustainable Development"
Wed, 22 Jul 1998 14:09:47 -0700
>Is there any country in the world where corporations and their
>development schemes are not subsidized to some extent?
Good question. None that I know of.
One of the most important things that states do in capitalist countries,
and in their international aid programs, is to collect a portion of surplus
value from workers, farmers, etc. & channel it to support capital
accumulation. They do this through direct subsidies, tax breaks, and
social spending (transport, education, etc.)
In would-be socialist countries, subsidies and the role of the state in
distributing value have been taken for granted, the idea being that the
welfare of all is thus served--and sometimes it has been. Capitalist
states make the same claim, but it's mediated by the disingenuous notion
that the welfare of corporations = social welfare.
In the neo-liberal era, we a shift of subsidies away from social subsidies
and toward more direct and and indirect subsidies to the private sector
(infrastructure projects, even more regressive taxation, privatizations of
public enterprizes & resources, etc.) But it's done in the name of
"reducing the role of the inefficient state" -- as if private firms were by
definition more efficient-- and allowing "the market" to foster the
"optimal" distribtion of values and resources on the mythical "level
This theory is one half of the rationale for the currently-popular attack
on "perverse subsidies" in the name of environmentalism. If states stop
giving away irrigation water, for eg., it will be used more efficiently,
the reasoning goes. But this ignores the fact that in many places, those
forced to give up farming as result of the higher costs of water are likely
to be smaller-scale farmers, who, in many cases, are practicing relatively
sustainable forms of agriculture compared to those who can afford the
market prices of water (in part because they're probably continuing to get
other forms of subsidy, and in part because of their economies of scale and
monopoly advantages). Reduction of subsidies for agrochemical inputs may
have good environmental effects, although not necessarily positve social
results, at least in the short term.
The other half of the rationale for reducing "perverse subsidies" is the
environmental economics argument that "realistic pricing" of natural
resources and the "internalization" of environmental "externalities"
(resource depletion and pollution) is the key to greening the world
economy. That's a good theory in the idealized world of economics, but it
ignores the power of corporate and elite interests in the real world.
The problem is, no firm wants to pay more than its competitors for the
resources it uses or the damage it causes. So either there must be strict,
enforced state mechanisms (aided by public monitoring) to force them to do
so. But this so-called "command and control" approach to regulation is
very much out of fashion.
Instead we get the call for "incentives"-- ways of massaging markets to
persuade private economic actors to adopt more efficient, less polluting,
more "sustainable" technologies and resource use choices.
I have yet to hear about an "incentive" that doesn't boil down to some form
of subsidy from states or multilaterial institutions (eg, below-market rate
loans) and/or consumers (eg, higher prices for "eco-friendly" timber
A year ago, I quizzed a representative of the IFC (the World Bank's private
sector arm.) I asked him to explain the basis of IFC's "environmental"
projects, and he wasn't able to come up with any program that did not
involve some sort of subsidy. But I haven't made a systematic survey, so
I'd really like to hear of an "incentive" that isn't a subsidy.
It's important because the whole notion of market-managed environmentalism,
or greening + unrestricted growth, or what I call "green developmentalism,"
is based on the notion that pollution prevention and efficient, sustainable
resource use can be made profitable, so that neither strong state
regulation nor subsidies are necessary.
But markets are ALWAYS structured, regulated, and subsidied by states or
supra-state institutions. The issue is not "subsidies vs no subsdiies,"
but rather "subsidies for what and for whom."
>>Date: 22 Jul 98 19:22:56
>>Subject: Now On-line: Subsidizing Unsustainable Development
>> NOW AVAILABLE ON-LINE: http://www.ecouncil.ac.cr/econ/sud
>> Report prepared for the Earth Council's
>> Van Lennep Programme on Economics
>> and Sustainable Development
>> ** SUBSIDIZING UNSUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT **
>> Report Finds that Government Subsidies to Many Sectors are Damaging
>> the Environment and Undermining Sustainable Development
>>Government subsidies are drastically undermining both the environment as
>>well as government deficit-fighting, according to a study conducted for
>>the Earth Council by the Dutch Institute for Research on Public
>>The study, now available in electronic format, was prepared for the 1997
>>Rio+5 Forum and found that subsidies from the public purse in just four
>>sectors - water, agriculture, energy and road transportation - are now
>>costing the world upwards of $700 billion, or as much as the arms race.
>>It concludes that many current subsidies no longer serve their original
>>purpose and actually harm long-term economic prospects. A central
>>finding is that far too many subsidies encourage development that is
>>unsustainable in both environmental and economic terms.
>>Maurice Strong, Chairman of the Earth Council, writes in the Foreword
>>that this report "demonstrates dramatically how, in so many cases, the
>>subsidies provide disincentives to sustainable development while
>>denying to the poor the benefits which better deployment of these
>>resources could produce."
>>Subsidizing Unsustainable Development also concludes that policymakers
>>and others are effectively "addicted" to these damaging subsidies and
>>face entrenched opposition to any change from strong, vested interests.
>>It calls for a coordinated international plan of eliminating many
>>subsidies and reforming those remaining. Specific examples of the high
>>price tag on subsidies include:
>> - Agriculture: Only 20 percent of $335 billion in annual agriculture
>> transfers actually ends up as additional farm income; the bulk of
>> this huge taxpayer subsidy encourages unsustainable agricultural
>> production, including the overuse of fertilizers and pesticides.
>> - Water: Subsidization of irrigation water worldwide, estimated at
>> anywhere from $50 billion to $100 billion, is a major cause of
>> widespread soil salinization, which is reducing food production in
>> regions already short of food.
>> - Energy: The western industrialized world spends between $70
>> billion and $80 billion a year on energy subsidies; these subsidies
>> encourage excessive use of fossil fuels, the most ecologically
>> harmful energy source, and contribute directly to air pollution, acid
>> rain and global warming.
>> - Road Transportation: Motorists who pay the actual costs of their
>> travel are the exception rather than the rule. In both
>> industrialized and developing countries, road transportation is
>> extensively subsidized (anywhere from $100 billion to $215 billion
>> a year), contributing to urban sprawl, air pollution, and traffic
>> congestion and deaths.
>>In each of these four sectors, the report contains detailed assessments
>>of the economic, environmental and social impacts of the subsidies on a
>>global basis. The report concludes with specific recommendations for
>>overcoming the barriers to subsidy reform.
>>The report was researched by André de Moor, an economist on the staff
>>of the Institute for Research in Public Expenditure, and written by
>>Peter Calamai, a veteran Canadian journalist experienced in covering
August/27/1998/ELAN: Water Crisis Looms as World Population Grows
Thu, 27 Aug 1998 19:14:18 -0700
Report: Water Crisis Looms as World Population Grows
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 2pm (EST), Wednesday, August 26, 1998
Hopkins Report: Water Crisis Looms as World Population Grows
Nearly half a billion people around the world face water shortages
today. By 2025 the number will explode fivefold to 2.8 billion
people--35% of the world's projected total of 8 billion
people--according to a new report from The Johns Hopkins University
School of Public Health.
"To avoid catastrophe...it is important to act now" to reduce demand for
water by slowing population growth, according to the Population Reports
issue, Solutions for a Water-Short World, published by the Johns Hopkins
Population Information Program. At the same time, warns the Hopkins
report, countries must conserve water, pollute less, and manage supply
and demand better.
TO SEE AN ADVANCE OF THE FULL REPORT GO TO:
By 2025, according to the report, one in every three people will live in
countries short of water. Today, thirty-one countries are facing water
stress or water scarcity. By 2025 population pressure will push another
17 countries, including India, onto the list. China, with a projected
2025 population of 1.5 billion, will not be far behind. A country faces
water stress when annual water supplies drop below 1,700 cubic meters
per person. Water-scarce countries have annual water supplies of less
than 1,000 cubic meters per person.
Much of the world is caught trying to meet a growing demand for
freshwater with finite and increasingly polluted water supplies,
according to Population Reports. But the situation is worst in
developing countries, where some 95% of the 80 million people added to
the globe each year are born, and where the competition between
industrial, urban, and agricultural use for water is mounting.
"Freshwater is the liquid that lubricates development," says Don
Hinrichsen, lead author of the report and a Consultant with the United
Nations Population Fund. "In many developing countries lack of water
could cap future improvements in the quality of life. Populations are
growing rapidly in many of these countries, and at the same time per
capita use must increase--to grow enough food, for better personal
health and hygiene, and to supply growing cities and industries.
"Meanwhile, there is no more freshwater on earth than there was 2,000
years ago, when population was 3% of its current size, " says
Even in the United States, where there is plenty of water on a national
basis, in some areas "people are depleting groundwater reserves at a 25%
greater rate than nature can replenish," adds Hinrichsen.
Regional conflicts over water are brewing and could turn violent as
shortages grow, warns the Hopkins report. In Africa, Central Asia, the
Near East, and South America, some countries are already bickering over
access to rivers and inland seas. Even within a country competition for
use can be fierce. The water in China's Yellow river, for example, is
under so much demand that the river has dried up before reaching the
ocean. In 1996, when there was enough water, the government ordered
farmers not to use it; a state-run oil field further downstream needed
the water to operate.
Overuse and Pollution
In 1996, people used an estimated 54% of all accessible freshwater. The
next 30 years of population growth will raise the number to 70%--and by
much more if per capita water use continues to rise at its current pace,
write Hinrichsen and co-authors Bryant Robey and Ushma D. Upadhyay. As
people use more water, less is left for vital ecosystems on which humans
and other species depend. Globally, over 20% of all freshwater fish
species are endangered or vulnerable, or recently have become extinct.
In Egypt diverting water from the Nile has virtually wiped out some 30
of 47 commercial species of fish. Africa's Lake Chad has shrunk from
25,000 square kilometers to just 2,000 over the past 30 years through
overuse and drought. In Europe the Rhine River is so polluted that 8 of
its 44 fish species have disappeared and another 25 are rare or
endangered. In Colombia, South America, annual fish production in the
Magdalena River has plunged from 72,000 metric tons to 23,000 metric
in 15 years; a similar drop occurred in Southeast Asia's Mekong River.
The US state of California has lost over 90% of its wetlands, resulting
in two-thirds of the state's native fish becoming extinct or in decline.
Even in the face of impending shortages, water pollution continues to
spoil this essential resource. Agriculture is the biggest polluter,
even more than industries and municipalities, according to Hopkins
researchers. "In virtually every country where agricultural fertilizers
and pesticides are used, they have contaminated groundwater aquifers and
surface waters," they write. Europe and North America confront enormous
pollution problems. Over 90% of Europe's rivers have high nitrate
concentrations, mostly from agrochemicals. In developing countries, on
average, 90% to 95% of all domestic sewage and 75% of all industrial
waste are discharged into surface waters without any treatment. All of
India's 14 major rivers are badly polluted and over three-quarters of
China's 50,000 kilometers of major rivers are unable to support fish.
Polluted water causes major public health problems worldwide, killing
millions of people each year and preventing millions more from leading
healthy lives. About 2.3 billion people in the world suffer from
diseases that are linked to water, such as dysentery, cholera, typhoid,
The authors call for a "Blue Revolution" to conserve and manage
freshwater supplies but concede that "it may already be too late for
some water-short countries with rapid population growth to avoid a
crisis." They argue that a blue revolution will require politically
difficult coordinated responses to the problem at the local, national,
and international levels. They conclude development agencies need to
focus more on assuring the supply and management of freshwater resources
and on providing sanitation as part of development and public health
Don Hinrichsen is a Consultant with the United Nations Population Fund
and author of the recently-published book, Coastal Waters of the
World: Trends, Threats, and Strategies, published by Island Press.
Bryant Robey is Population Reports Editor; Ushma D. Upadhyay is a
research analyst with the Population Information Program. Population
Reports is an international review journal of important issues in
population, family planning, and related health matters. It is
published four times a year in four languages by the Population
Information Program at the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication
Programs for more than 170,000 family planning and other health
professionals worldwide, with support from the US Agency for
International Development (USAID). USAID administers the US foreign
assistance program, providing economic and humanitarian assistance in
more than 80 countries worldwide.
August/28/1998/ELAN: Re: Water Crisis Looms as
World Population Grows
Fri, 28 Aug 1998 12:18:25 -0700
Lucio and ELAN:
Looking at the Johns Hopkins website, I see that while the research
may include many factors, the report is by the Population Information
Program of Johns Hopkins. That may suggest a reason for the emphasis
they give to considering First population among various factors. They
say:" In the long run, slowing population growth will slow the increase in
demand for water and help buy more time to develop better water
conservation and management strategies"
If supply-side management means that you try to provide more water per
capita Through building "engineered" responses, I guess their ultimate
"demand side management" means that you not only reduce the demand for
water by a population, but that you also
reduce the size of the population who depend on the water source.
Population/Water Report website: http://www.jhuccp.org/popreport/m14edsum.stm
At 10:07 AM 8/28/98 -0700, you wrote:
> Just a comment: This report indicates that there are many factors
>affecting water quality and supply: people(human waste),industries
>(industrial waste), and agriculture(quimicals used plus
>waste)... The report also seems to indicate that people impacts
>are not the primary source of water pollution, so why the conclusion that
>population is the main problem and it must be reduced. Any other
>On Thu, 27 Aug 1998, John Newcomb wrote:
>> Report: Water Crisis Looms as World Population Grows
>> FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 2pm (EST), Wednesday, August 26, 1998
>> Hopkins Report: Water Crisis Looms as World Population Grows
>> Nearly half a billion people around the world face water shortages
>> today. By 2025 the number will explode fivefold to 2.8 billion
>> people--35% of the world's projected total of 8 billion
>> people--according to a new report from The Johns Hopkins University
>> School of Public Health.
>> "To avoid catastrophe...it is important to act now" to reduce demand for
>> water by slowing population growth, according to the Population Reports
>> issue, Solutions for a Water-Short World, published by the Johns Hopkins
>> Population Information Program. At the same time, warns the Hopkins
>> report, countries must conserve water, pollute less, and manage supply
>> and demand better.
November/05/1998/ELAN: Rapid Environment Decline of Central America
Thu, 05 Nov 1998 20:53:46 -0800
John Newcomb (email@example.com)
Central America: Quality of Environmental Shows Rapid Decline
WASHINGTON, (Nov. 3) IPS - At the same time that Central America had
developed ecological reserves, the environmental quality of the
biologically-diverse region was in rapid decline, according to "State of
Environment," a joint report by non-governmental organizations (NGOs),
the United Nations, and international financial institutions.
A grim reminder of the impact of environmental ills in Central America
came this past week when the remnants of Hurricane Mitch ravaged the
region and caused an estimated 7,000 deaths.
Flash floods and mudslides caused most casualties -- the result of
deforestation and soil erosion which is on the rise throughout Central
America, according to the State of Environment and Natural Resources in
Central America 1998, released yesterday.
"Forests are disappearing at a rate of 388,000 hectares per year... and
soil loss is the norm due to lack of land planning, mining and the
construction of hydroelectric dams," the report said. It was produced by
the Central American Commission on Environment and Development, the
Organization of American States (OAS), the World Resources Institute, the
United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the World Bank, the World
Conservation Union and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
For the most part, the environmental situation was deteriorating because
existing international laws, or regulations in Central American nations,
were not enforced or were ineffective, the report said.
"Current legislation is deficient, incongruent and duplicated... the
majority of laws are not regulated and have gaps," it declared. "In spite
of having approved general environmental legislation in practically all
nations in the 1990s, regulations are fragmented and relate to individual
natural resources rather than having a more holistic focus."
The interplay of poverty and unequal distribution of land is another
main cause of environmental problems in the region. "In the rural sector,
the concentration of land is greater than that shown in statistics, as
frequently the best land is occupied by those who have the means and the
technology at their exploitation, consigning the needy to poor quality
land found mainly on slopes," the report said.
This pressure on fragile land causes "deforestation and the high levels
of erosion and soil loss which are affecting the region." Central America
possessed seven percent of the world's biodiversity and is one of the
richest regions in terms of variety of plant and animal species. Many
species, including many frogs and the harpy eagle, are found only in this
In recent years, as loss of habitat from deforestation became apparent,
governments mapped out protected reserves where these species could take
refuge. But despite these efforts, 44 hectares of Central American forest
-- including protected land -- continued to disappear every hour, the
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimated that, between
1990 and 1995, the region lost around 2,284,000 hectares of forest.
Species are rapidly becoming extinct as wildlife became isolated and
fragmented in small reserves. Such populations were especially vulnerable
to disease or natural disasters, like floods or fires, the report said.
Besides increasing the enforcement of already existing protected areas,
the report urged the formation of a "meso-American corridor" which would
connect reserves from Panama to Guatemala. This connection would prevent
plants and wildlife from being trapped in small reserves and allow them
to reproduce and evolve -- as they have for thousands of years throughout
"Creation of the much needed corridor will be a very challenging task,"
said Jim Nations, vice president of Mexico and Central American programs
at the Washington-based Conservation International. "Countries are not
only going to have to better enforce their environmental laws but they
will have to cooperate together for this project to succeed."
Acknowledging that the general poverty of Central America caused people
to cut down forests for fire wood or to produce small plots of farm land,
the report urged governments to increase employment and educational
opportunities for their countries poor.
Another major environmental problem was pollution caused by motor
vehicles, industry and energy generation through the burning of oil and
gas, says the report.
While the Central American region does not emit nearly as much carbon
dioxide and other "greenhouse gases" -- blamed for the increase in the
average global temperature -- as industrialized countries, air pollution
remained a major problem for many urban areas in the region, the report
Central America had not employed the type of "clean technologies" used
in Europe and North America that reduced sulphur dioxide and emissions of
nitrogen oxide -- the chemicals responsible for causing acid rain. Lead
from gasoline and industry also polluted the urban landscape, the report
"State of Environment" also described how water scarcity, and poor water
quality, would be one of the more urgent environmental problems of the
region next century.
"I know that right now, because of the floods, everyone is worried about
having too much water in Central America... but the great environmental
crisis still to come will be a lack of water," said Kirk Rodgers, former
director of the Unit for Sustainable Development and Environment at the
Organization of American States.
The report said that such scarcity often was "the result of watershed
degradation, higher demands on the resource and population increases --
mainly in urban areas and Central America's Pacific region where less
water is available than on the Atlantic side."
Water quality was another problem. Lack of access to clean drinkable
water remained a major cause of disease in the region, said the report.
Between 60 and 80 percent of all diseases in the region could be
attributed to poor water quality as more than 95 percent of municipal
sewage waste and industrial waste flowed untreated into river systems.
"Underground waters which supply a large number of the region's
municipalities are being increasingly polluted as a result of the
inappropriate disposal of municipal and industrial wastes," said the
report. "It is common for excreta to be dumped untreated into river
systems or the sea."
Pesticide and fertilizer run-off from agricultural areas -- especially
off of heavily farmed fields of monoculture crops -- also contributed to
"Clearly an overall water management plan for the region is needed,"
Rodgers declared. "But it's going to be quite a process -- none of the
Central American countries have even their own water
November/19/1998/ELAN: Re: Deforestation and Devastation
Thu, 19 Nov 1998 08:02:41 -0700
Ecoturismo Internacional de Nicaragua S.A.
I couldn't agree more - a pro-active, vigorous, and intelligent
reforestation process must be undertaken to rebuild the tropical forests in
Central and South America. This needs to go hand-in-hand with active
conservation efforts, including development of alternatives to traditional
I also personally believe there is a direct correlation between the level
of deforestation and the level of damage. However, it hasn't been studied
here yet. That's one of the questions we plan on trying to answer. In
addition, there have been some anecdotal and second-hand reports that
appear anomolous. My team has a kind of unique opportunity - we have great
baseline data on several sites in the disaster zones. We can at least begin
to look at changes and comparing the level of damage in forested areas and
deforested. Our plan is to conduct baseline environmental impact
assessments on several sites (forested, deforested, and frontier) then
compare it with previous data from the same sites. I think we're going to
see a positive correlation, but that's only my hypothesis.
My objective in commenting on the ACERCA article was cautionary: let's
remember the scientific method and avoid making unsupported statements.
Especially if the purpose is for pointless political gamesmanship.
I look forward to hearing from you.
November/22/1998/ELAN: Op-Ed on Hurricane Mitch
Tue, 24 Nov 1998 13:10:10 -0500 (EST)
The following was published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Forum section
on Sunday, November 22, 1998.
HURRICANE MITCH: HUMAN CAUSES OF A NATURAL CATASTROPHE
By now, all of us have seen the photographs and read the accounts of the
terrible devastation caused in Honduras and Nicaragua by Hurricane Mitch.
Amid the outpouring of grief and offers of aid to the people of Central
America what has been lost is an appreciation of how much human use and
abuse of the environment in the region exacerbated the natural disaster
and greatly magnified its scale of death and destruction.
Unless reconstruction efforts in the region address these longer-term
problems, we will have failed to grasp what may be the most important
lesson for humanity of this tragic storm.
The destruction caused by Hurricane Mitch was not due to the Category
Five high Winds the storm had during part of its life over the Caribbean
Sea. Instead, the damage came because the storm first lingered off the
north coast and then meandered over Honduras for a total of six days.
The storm continued picking up moisture from the sea and unleashing
catastrophic rains. on the isthmus over Honduras and Nicaragua. By the
time the storm moved inland over Honduras, it had winds of only about
60 mph but continued to Dump massive quantities of rain on the land
below. In some locations, two feet of rain fell in a single day.
The devastation is only partially captured by the official estimates. In
Honduras alone, as of Nov. 12, the government was estimating more than
6,500 people confirmed dead, more than 6,500 missing, and almost 2
million people homeless (40 percent of the population).
In Nicaragua too, whole communities were wiped out most notably when
the crater of the La Casita Volcano filled with water and burst,
obliterating the village of Posoltega below.
Damages have been estimated at nearly $4 billion in Honduras, and
approximately $1.5 billion in Nicaragua.
What has escaped notice in much of the international press is that the
most catastrophic destruction did not occur along the north coast where
the rains pummeled the region for the longest period of time. . To be
sure, the banana plantations along the coast were destroyed, many bridges
were damaged or destroyed, and a substantial number of people were killed
or displaced by the floods. Many of the most horrific images, however,
came from the central and the southern parts of Honduras and Nicaragua -
far from the path taken by Hurricane Mitch. In particular, the destruction
of Honduras' capital, Tegucigalpa, and the damage in southern Honduras,
southwestern Nicaragua, and eastern El Salvador occurred in areas that
received much less rainfall than along the Caribbean coast.
The destruction was so severe in these regions because, in many ways, this
was a human-made disaster. Like so many other Latin American cities,
Tegucigalpa is ringed by squatter settlements constructed by poor people
who have few economic alternatives. These people have built their precarious
houses on the hillsides destroying the vegetation for a Building site,
construction materials and fuel to cook their meals. In many other parts of
the densely populated central and southern parts of the country, deforestation
has occurred as poor people try to scratch out a living growing basic grains
on hillside lands.
Deforestation is often blamed on the poor who are its most direct agents.
Their poverty,however, coexists alongside wealth created by melon-growers
producing for the export market, shrimp producers who now cultivate this
commodity in ponds along the coast, and especially cattle producers who
have appropriated much of the best land for their ranches.
The Pacific Coast of El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua has long been
characterized by vast differences between the wealthy few who have
appropriated the best, flat lands, often for commodities like cattle
that require little labor to produce. The Honduran Central
Bank estimated in 1988 that 48 percent of the valley lands in the country
were sown in pasture for cattle. The poor majority is left with the
alternatives of deforesting the steep slopes for a patch of land to
cultivate, migrating to the cities or invading the protected
areas of Honduras' rainforest.
My research and that of many other social scientists who have worked in
Central America has documented the socioeconomic causes of the destruction
of the dry tropical forests. Still vivid in my mind was an interview I did
with a poor farmer in 1981 when I asked him if he was not aware of the
dangers of cutting the forest to sow his patch of maize and beans. He said:
"Of course I know that I am destroying the land, but I and my
family have to eat today. What choice do we have?"
The results of so much deforestation were quite evident when heavy rains
hit the region in 1982. In imagining what the destruction must look like
today, I remember my photographs from that El Nino year - landslides from
seemingly every hill, the Panamerican Highway washed out in several
locations, and houses buried in the silt carried by the flooding. What
occurred in Central America this time was a much heavier concentration of
rain, falling on hillsides that have continued to be denuded of forest and
other vegetation. Large portions of Tegucigalpa were destroyed. Rapid runoff
of water filled the tributaries of the Choluteca River. The rain caused
landslides from the denuded hillsides and the mud and rocks blocked the river,
creating a huge lake that inundated large areas of the city. Some barrios
simply slid into the swollen creeks and river. As the flooding Choluteca
RRivermade its way to the Pacific Coast, it carried more destruction in its
path. Riverside communities disappeared, landslides contributed tons more
silt to the swirling mass, melon farms and the ponds of shrimp farmers
were destroyed, and bridges, telephone and power lines, and highways were
destroyed. Several large warehouses with dangerous pesticides were demolished, contaminating the water supplies of the region and perhaps ofthe Gulf of
It is telling that a large portion of this disaster occurred far from
the path of the storm. The Honduran government has estimated that 108
bridges were destroyed or damaged. More than half of the bridges
destroyed and 43 percent of those damaged were in the two southern
provinces of Choluteca and Valle. The death toll from this storm will
never be known because many so many people were buried in the mudslides
or washed away. It is likely, however, that a surprising number of its
victims were from areas along the Pacific Coast that were much less
directly affected by rains from the storm. Areas of northwestern
Nicaragua and northeastern Honduras, where large areas of forest still
remain, were much less affected despite receiving much larger quantities
The economies of Honduras and of Nicaragua have been shattered by the
effects of Hurricane Mitch. William Handel, vice president of Honduras,
says that it may take 30-40 years for them to recover. The banana
plantations have already laid off their workers and there is a possibility
that companies will not reinvest because they can produce bananas in
other countries. The shrimp farms that produced Honduras' third largest export
earner have been largely destroyed. Coffee farms have been severely hit, and
basic grain harvests were affected. Many industries have also been damaged.
The resulting unemployment will put an extraordinary strain on these poor
Humanitarian aid is pouring into the region, and some of the massive foreign
debt of these two countries is being forgiven or rescheduled. These measures
are necessary and extremely important in the short term. Humanitarian aid to
provide drinking water, food, and construct shelter for the homeless is
particularly critical because of the threat that the
spread of dengue, malaria, cholera, and diarrheal diseases poses.
It would be a tragedy, however, if the reconstruction efforts did not also
address the human-made dimensions of this natural disaster. Estimates are
that Nicaragua has lost nearly 60 percent of its forest cover in the past
50 years. In Honduras, the losses have been as significant, and few forest
patches exist in El Salvador. The past half-century and
more of environmental destruction in Central America contributed to this
Juan Blas Zapata, a Honduran who is the Executive Secretary of the Central
American Forest Council, is one of the few who have spoken out about this
aspect of the devastation caused by Mitch. Last week he told the press that
because of the "immense deforestation," the soils could not absorb the great
quantities of water and this resulted in the large numbers of landslides.
Ironically, the results of the storm may actually increase the environmental
degradation of the remaining forest areas. The poor whose homes and small
plots of land were destroyed by this storm are likely to move into the
remaining areas of forest in the Mosquitia region of the country. This
movement of population from the densely populated regions of
Honduras and Nicaragua had already been occurring but pressures to do so will
With fewer economic alternatives in the cities and in their areas of
origin, the poor will move to environmentally fragile areas; those who
can may move further and seek better alternatives in the United States
or other wealthy countries.
What can be done? Once the initial needs for humanitarian assistance
have been satisfied and the disaster has faded from the world's
consciousness, foreign aid for economic reconstruction will be required
for these poor countries. Major long-term commitments from the United
States and other developed countries will be needed. This foreign aid
must have environmental sustainability as its major method and goal.
Policy changes are necessary in Nicaragua and in Honduras to provide
incentives for wealthy landowners to plant labor-intensive crops on
the most productive lands and to dissuade farmers from cultivating
marginal lands. The reconstruction of shrimp farms along the Pacific
should be regulated to protect important nature reserves and rich
Massive reforestation of denuded hillsides must be done, but this will
require means to ensure resource-poor landowners that they will be
rewarded for caring for these trees.
Governments must also invest heavily in nutrition, health and education
programs to improve the human capital in the region. This will be
necessary before significant private foreign investments will be made
in these countries. Ultimately, of course, the creation of decent jobs
or the region's poor will be the only ultimate answer to arresting
environmental destruction. If Hurricane Mitch serves as a
wake-up call to the political and economic elites of Central American
countries and to the world community, some good may ultimately come of
this horrendous destruction.
If the world's attention is too quickly displaced to other problems,
then this disaster is likely to be followed by others that are equally
November/25/1998/ELAN: Re: Op-Ed on Hurricane Mitch
Wed, 25 Nov 1998 12:59:39 -0800
I think you are all correct in the colonial/post-colonial era. But C.A. has
undergone at least two major deforestation epochs- the first was implemented
by, and believed to have caused the downfall of, the Mayan civilization. By
the time of Spanish settlement, the land had largely recovered.
Your excellent question about what can be done to bring the poor down the
hills is highly appropriate, and, in my belief requires multiple spearheads
4. political empowerment
However, adding up derivatives of this list will lead to the following:
CREATE CONDITIONS WHERIN THOSE HIGH ELEVATION AREAS ARE WORTH MORE AS
FORESTS THAN FIELDS.
With best regards,
From: Toledo/Lucio Munoz <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: ENVIRONMENT IN LATIN AMERICA NETWORK <email@example.com>
Date: Wednesday, November 25, 1998 12:16 PM
Subject: Re: Op-Ed on Hurricane Mitch
> Just a comment: By the time of the Central American independence
>from Spain(1821), deforestation was not a problem in Central America,
>neither in El Salvador. Then, a model of agro-export led development was
>made priority, which has been constantly shifting as a result of the very
>volatil nature of the global demand for those agricultural products.
> Every shift in this agro-export model was apparently accompained
>by more new areas being deforested. In some cases, the over all export
>model had to be changed and in others, it was put through a process of
>"diversification". The expropriation of communal lands around cities(or
>easy accesible) or restrictions imposed on traditional users of those
>lands on future use exacerbated more the problem and forced them to move
>to the remaining forest area, but usually not to steep hill sides since
>flat land was still accesible.
> As this model continue its constanly shifting process, they took
>over the new deforested areas created by the poor and the landless that
>were appropriate to it(it was more cost efficient than opening new areas
>from the ground up), and started pushing the poor and the landless more
>and more into steeper areas every time. Right now we are reaching the
>top pushing effect of this model of development and the landless and poor
>have no more ground to climb.
> Hence, the increasing trend in deforested areas in Central America
>started a long time ago when the poor and the landless had plenty of land
>accessible to them to practice "sustainable shifting agriculture". All
>national and international statistics about the amount of deforested areas
>are public and therefore well known as well as the risk of not doing
>something about it. However, no much was done then, and has been
>done up to the day Mitch hit. Mitch is a clear example that the
>assumption of the neo-economic model that social and environmental impacts
>are minimal is false.
> The focus in the region since the 1970s has been on
>protecting/regulating the remaining forest areas, aparently because it is
>more cost-effecient than reforesting 50 % to 60% of Central America.
> From the above, it can be concluded that the model of
>agro-export development has been the driving force pushing rich(to the
>best open lands) that fit the model at each time, and the poor and
>landless to the everytime to higer ground and steeper hills.
> The question is what can be done to bring the poor and the
>landless down the hills?. They can not go to the protected areas by
>law(at least in paper), they can not go to the remaining forest areas
>because that means new deforestation(at least it is a difficult option for
>government officials to choose). And they can not just move to the
>private best open lands due to the respect for private property. Hence,
>if reforestation is now made a priority, where can the landless and the
>poor(the majority of the population) go to carve their daily living?.
> Yes, at the pick of the development model the poor and the
>landless have a clear role in deforestation, but that was not the case at
> Comments are welcome.
>On Tue, 24 Nov 1998, Billie R Dewalt wrote:
>> HURRICANE MITCH: HUMAN CAUSES OF A NATURAL CATASTROPHE
November/26/1998/ELAN: Re: Op-Ed on Hurricane Mitch
Thu, 26 Nov 1998 07:40:55 -0800
"Philip D. Tanimoto" wrote:
> I think you are all correct in the colonial/post-
colonial era. But C.A. has
> undergone at least two major deforestation epochs- the
first was implemented
> by, and believed to have caused the downfall of, the
Mayan civilization. By
> the time of Spanish settlement, the land had largely
This notion was refuted by me successfully during a
discussion some two years back on the Pre-Columbian
History Maillist for Meso-America, Aztlan.
Very basically I said that the European perception for
urbanization may not apply to ancient Meso-America: that
all city-sites within a given epoch were designed to be
populated simultaneously, and the assumption by the
arriving Spaniards that some of the cities were
'abandoned' was incorrect.
The idea that the limestone shelf that is the Yucatan
peninsula, for example, was deforested for 'intense'
cultivation rather than slash and burn was borne for the
need to explain how so many city-sites presumed to be
simultaneously populated could support the entirety of
more or less correct population estimates for each city-
site -while there is no indication that the absolute
sieve that is the limestone shelf ever supported a clay
cover which in turn could support a viable topsoil, much
less water for the 'intense' cultivation of a deforested
The alternative perception for urbanization I offered was
based on a systematic migration within each of the
Yucatan's ancient architectual zones. I proposed instead
that each architectual zone's band rotated their fields
for slash and burn agriculture on a very grand scale by
systematically migrating from one of their city-sites, to
allow it and its adjacent terrain to lie follow, to
another of their city-sites, for its restoration and use
of rejunventated adjacent terrain whenever nature (such
as hurricanes), the spirit, or even the calendar
dictated. When the Itzaes first arrived to Chichen-Itza,
they too thought the city-site 'abandoned'.
The theory expains alot more than merely allowing for a
total population of the Yucatan which did not need an
impossible explanation of 'intense' agriculture, and such
indigenous histories as the 'Xul Papers' seem to support
If you should care to seek further into this two month
discussion, it was archived at Aztlan under the headings
"Maya Collapse" and "Maya Collapse (?)" about two
Christmas seasons ago.
November/28/1998/ELAN: Re: Op-Ed on Hurricane Mitch
Sat, 28 Nov 1998 16:31:20 -0800
-- Which is why I believe (with the unintened by inevitable consequence of
raising the ire of some of the participants in the ELAN forum) that
population pressure, at some time, must be addressed.
From: Toledo/Lucio Munoz <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Philip D. Tanimoto <email@example.com>
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>
Date: Friday, November 27, 1998 2:43 PM
Subject: Re: Op-Ed on Hurricane Mitch
> Given the limitations I mentioned in my previous message and
>assuming they are binding, there seems to be two remaining options to
>bringing the poor people and landless people down the hills: a) if the
>reforestation process of critical areas is done with the permanent goal of
>not allowing them to comeback or stay, then they have to be relocated to
>less critical deforested areas or to cities(internal migration) or to other
>countries(legal/ilegal external migration). Hence while the critical
>areas recover, the pressure goes to else where, but the source is still
>there, and now in a mixed form. Usually mixed forms are more explosive;
>and b) if reforestation is done in a way that sustainably atached the poor
>and the landless to those trees, or to sustainably re-incorporate them
>later perhaps minimizing their environmental demage post reforestation,
>then perhaps the forces can be dissipated in situ.
> However, each choice has the potencial to backfire, and sent this
>poor people and landless pressure faster back to the ramining forest, or
>protected areas or private property if not well planned. This is because
>if the reforestation program leads to just to another contraint to access
>to land(already constraint almost to the maximum), then the landless and
>the poor have nothing to lose anyway(under this conditions life is usually
> Comments welcome;
>On Wed, 25 Nov 1998, Philip D. Tanimoto wrote:
>> Your excellent question about what can be done to bring the poor down the
>> hills is highly appropriate, and, in my belief requires multiple
December/04/1998/ELAN: Re: Proposed study/possible contradictions
Fri, 04 Dec 1998 06:30:43 -0700
Ecoturismo Internacional de Nicaragua S.A.
Thank you again for your comments. I have forwarded your concerns to the
principal investigator and his staff. I'm sure they will find them useful.