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1 November 2009 Neotropical Forest Conservation, Agricultural Intensification, and Rural Out-Migration: The Mexican Experience
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Abstract

Forest loss in the tropics is one of the most critical contemporary environmental problems. Understanding the complex sociopolitical and ecological forces operative in producing this problem has thus become an important scientific mandate. Some recent literature has suggested that modern market economy trends in Latin America—namely, rural out-migration and policies strongly favoring high-input, industry-based agriculture—have helped curtail and sometimes revert the net loss of tropical forests, mainly through afforestation of land abandoned by smallholders. Government in Mexico, a megadiverse country with one of the biggest out-migration and remittance economies in the world, has excelled in applying free-market policies and in discouraging historical smallholder agriculture. Our analysis of Mexico's development path and of recent deforestation and reforestation trends at the national, regional, and local levels shows that, contrary to expectations, net deforestation is still occurring, and that other development, agricultural, and reforestation strategies are needed.

© 2009 by American Institute of Biological Sciences. All rights reserved. Request permission to photocopy or reproduce article content at the University of California Press's Rights and Permissions Web site at www.ucpressjournals.com/reprintinfo.asp.
Luis García-Barrios, Yankuic M. Galván-Miyoshi, Ingrid Abril Valdivieso-Pérez, Omar R. Masera, Gerardo Bocco, and John Vandermeer "Neotropical Forest Conservation, Agricultural Intensification, and Rural Out-Migration: The Mexican Experience," BioScience 59(10), 863-873, (1 November 2009). https://doi.org/10.1525/bio.2009.59.10.8
Published: 1 November 2009
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