30 Aug 2011:
Deforestation Rates Higher
In ‘Protected’ Forests, Study Says
A new study says deforestation rates in tropical forests designated as “protected” areas are typically much higher than in community-managed forests
. In a comparison of recent studies covering 40 protected areas and 33 community forests in 16 countries — including 11 in Latin America, three in Asia, and two in Africa — researchers found that protected areas lost an average of 1.47 percent of forest cover annually while community-managed forests lost only about 0.24 percent per year. “Our findings suggest that a forest put away behind a fence and designated ‘protected’ doesn’t necessarily guarantee that canopy cover will be maintained over the long term compared to forests managed by local communities,” said Manuel Guariguata, a senior scientist with the Center for International Forestry Research and co-author of the study, published in the journal Forest Ecology and Management
. While the researchers do not contend that the designation of forest areas as protected is “useless,” they say the evidence suggests community-based efforts can lead to increased local participation, reduced poverty, and greater economic opportunities and are a key part of forest conservation efforts globally.
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
Yale Environment 360
articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia
, the online educational network. Visit the site.
Business & Innovation
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Antarctica and the Arctic
Central & South America
Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
An aerial view of why Europe’s per capita carbon emissions are less than 50 percent of those in the U.S. View the photos.
The 2015 Yale e360 Video Contest winner documents a Northeastern town's bitter battle over a wind farm. Watch the video.
video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. Watch the video.
video goes onto the front lines with Colorado firefighters confronting deadly blazes fueled by a hotter, drier climate. Watch the video.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.