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About the Report

“In this important contribution, Ken Chomitz does the community a great service by applying a critical lens to the complicated relationships between agriculture, poverty, and the environment in tropical forests. Created as a diagnosis of forest problems, this volume applies a careful analysis to a knotty problem that has generated too many dangerously facile generalizations. We can all learn a great deal from this work.”

Kent H. Redford, Director, WCS Institute, Wildlife Conservation Society

 “Ecological, economic, and political aspects of tropical forests vary widely at both large and small scales. Chomitz delves into this variability instead of narrowing the scope. His efforts pay off.  He explains spatial variation in deforestation and forest poverty, and needed responses to these problems, by using just a few basic economic concepts and a simple typology of forest areas.  A notable feature of the book is the integration of results from recent spatial econometric studies with those from on-the-ground institutional studies. Some of the findings, such as the weak evidence of a causal link between deforestation and poverty, challenge conventional wisdom.”

Jeffrey R. Vincent, Professor of Natural Resource and Environmental Economics, University of California, San Diego

 “The successful integration of poverty reduction strategies, biodiversity conservation, and forest management is at the top of the agendas of development institutions and national governments. So far, this ideal has essentially been confined to the comfortable kingdom of rhetoric, insulated from the real world, where distressing trade-offs rule.

 This refreshing new report, produced by Ken Chomitz and colleagues at the World Bank, takes a practical look at the pesky devils creeping into the details.  Chomitz also offers a heuristic framework to classify the necessary solutions - all essentially doable. A superb contribution overall.”

Gustavo A.B. da Fonseca, Chief Conservation and Science Officer, Conservation International and Professor of Zoology, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil.

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