Poverty, Deforestation and Biodiversity Loss in Guatemala
Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research Discussion Paper No. 91
44 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2003
Date Written: January 2003
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: Suggested Citation