The Causes and Consequences of Tropical Deforestation: A Review

By Richard J Culas.

Published by The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The dynamic nature of global ecosystems makes environmental changes inevitable. These environmental changes are driven by human-made and natural causes. Human activities have always had an impact on the environment. Economic activity and the rate of population growth have now increased to the point where the effects of humanity on the environment can no longer be ignored or viewed in isolation. The quality of many of the basic elements of the natural resource base, such as air, water, soil, etc., is deteriorating, in particular due to the widespread depletion of forest resources. The other concern is emission of pollutants which have long-term and potentially irreversible effects such as climatic modification. This paper therefore provides a description of the consequences of deforestation from the perspectives of different segments of society. This description is followed by a review of the human-induced causes of depletion of forest resources, with reference to tropical deforestation, at different levels of the economy. The role of tropical forests in carbon sequestration has now received increased attention in the proposals for emerging carbon markets for climate change mitigation. This implies that such proposals for climate change mitigation should carefully consider the causes behind and the consequences of the tropical deforestation for the benefits of local land uses and the global communities.

Keywords: Deforestation, Causes, Consequences, Carbon Markets

The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp.127-140. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.874MB).

Dr. Richard J Culas

Lecturer in Agribusiness, Charles Sturt University, Orange, NSW, Australia

Richard is a Lecturer in Agricultural Economics/ Agribusiness at CSU since 2004. His qualifications include PhD (Economics) University of Sydney, CandOecon (MA Economics) Norwegian School of Economics & Business Administration, CandAgric (MSc Agricultural Economics) Norwegian University of Life Sciences, and BSc (Agriculture) University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. He has done research projects in Zambia and Norway for his master theses. His PhD thesis is on agribusiness of forestry and deforestation across countries of Latin American, African and Asian regions. Richard worked as consultant, research assistant, agricultural assistant and teacher in Norway and Sri Lanka. Prior to joining CSU he taught economics and econometrics subjects at the University of Sydney. He has published articles in refereed journals and presented papers in conferences. His current research is on farm diversification of Australian farmers, sustainable water management in Punjab (Indo-Pakistan) regions and deforestation in developing countries.

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