China, India and Viet Nam have recently experienced forest transitions from net deforestation to net reforestation as many European countries and US states underwent in the past. An embryonic forest-transition theory seeks to explain the phenomenon. Three recent Asian cases indicate that long established trends, usually perceived as representing environmental degradation, can be halted and reversed in the global South. Similarities and differences among the cases confirm that existing forest-transition theory needs refinement, in part by acknowledging the significant role played by government.
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Vol. 9 • No. 1