Journal Article

Reframing Deforestation

Published on 1 January 1998

International concern over the extent and rate of tropical deforestation has intensified, whether for interests of biodiversity, climate change, forest peoples or respect for nature. West Africa is assumed to have experienced the most dramatic deforestation of all, supporting cataclysmic climate predictions.

Yet evidence presented in Reframing Deforestation suggests that the scale of destruction wrought by West African farmers during the twentieth century has been vastly exaggerated and that global analyses have unfairly stigmatised them and obscured their more sustainable, even landscape enriching practices.

Beginning with a review of how West African deforestation is represented in policy, forestry and environmental sciences, the book continues with an analysis of this orthodoxy on a country-by-country basis. The emerging arguments serve to reframe forest history and question how and why deforestation has been exaggerated throughout West Africa.

Stressing that dominant policy approaches in forestry and conservation require major rethinking worldwide, Reframing Deforestation illustrates that more realistic assessments of forest cover change, and more respectful attention to local knowledge and practices are necessary bases for effective and appropriate environmental policies.


Publication details

Fairhead, J. and Leach, M.
0 415 18591 2


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