Poverty, Deforestation and Biodiversity Loss in Guatemala

Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research Discussion Paper No. 91

44 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2003

See all articles by Josef Ludger Loening

Josef Ludger Loening

University of Goettingen (Gottingen) - Ibero-America-Institute for Economic Research

Michael Markussen

University of Goettingen (Gottingen) - Department of Landscape Ecology

Date Written: January 2003

Abstract

This paper explores the causes of deforestation and biodiversity loss in Guatemala and is organized into 4 parts. First, an overview about deforestation in Guatemala from 1950-2000 is provided, and the relationship between deforestation and biodiversity loss is explored. Secondly, some underlying causes of deforestation are examined. While caution is needed about many conventional hypotheses, there are strong reasons to believe that higher rural wages generated by greater off-farm employment opportunities reduce deforestation. Thirdly, an empirical analysis indicates that agricultural activities in rural areas remain closely tied to deforestation because of the virtual absence of non-environmental assets of the poor. And finally, some doubts are placed on the excessive establishment of Integrated Conservation and Development Projects (ICDPs) within the countryside. In particular, the paper concludes that for the case of Guatemala strengthening the rural non-farm sector and human capital formation should be regarded as a key elements of a development strategy that tries to combine biodiversity conservation within a framework of sustainable economic growth and poverty alleviation.

Keywords: Biodiversity, Deforestation, Econometrics, Education, Integrated Conservation and Development Projects, Poverty, Rural Non-farm Employment, Guatemala

JEL Classification: C20, O13, O54, Q23

Suggested Citation

Loening, Josef Ludger and Markussen, Michael, Poverty, Deforestation and Biodiversity Loss in Guatemala (January 2003). Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research Discussion Paper No. 91. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=379984 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.379984

Josef Ludger Loening (Contact Author)

University of Goettingen (Gottingen) - Ibero-America-Institute for Economic Research ( email )

Oeconomicum II/99
Platz der Goettinger Sieben 3
Goettingen, 37073
Germany
+49 (551) 39-8172 (Phone)
+49 (551) 39-8173 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.iai.wiwi.uni-goettingen.de

Michael Markussen

University of Goettingen (Gottingen) - Department of Landscape Ecology ( email )

Goldschmidtstrasse 5
Goettingen, 37077
Germany

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