Evelopment and the EnvironmentHuman interventions in forest environments

Choose one of the following options a submissions must conform to the guidelines laid
out in the essay instruction sheet. Respond to all parts of the question and support your statements with well-reasoned arguments and references.

Tropical deforestation is a result of a number of human activities: commercial
logging, fuel wood collection, cattle ranching, large-scale development projects, and
(i) Identify the most important types of activity that currently contribute to tropical
rainforest deforestation in Latin America and Asia.
(ii) Explain the environmental basis of regional differences in deforestation impacts.
(iii) Summarize economic and market mechanisms for reducing forest environment

Suggested sources:
Geist, H.J and E.F. Lambin. 2002. Proximate Causes and Underlying Driving Forces of
Tropical Deforestation. BioScience 52(2): 143-150.
Kummer, D. and B, Turner. 1994. The human causes of deforestation in Southeast Asia. BioScience 44: 323-328.
Skole, D.L., W.H. Chomentowski, W.A. Salas and A.D. Nobre. 1994. Physical and
human dimensions of deforestation in Amazonia. BioScience 44: 314-322. (reading for lecture 7)


The civilization of Easter Island (Rapa Nui) catastrophically collapsed over a short
period of time.
(i) Was the collapse primarily caused by misuse of the environment (as argued by
Wright), or was the collapse a response to other problems?
(ii) Summarize each argument, including a description of the types of environmental
degradation that took place.
(iii) Suggest specific means by which the environmental devastation could have been

Suggested sources:
Rainbird, P. 2002. a?A message for our future? The Rapa Nui (Easter Island) Ecodisaster
and Pacific Island Environments,a? World Archaeology 33(3).
Reuveny, R. and C. Decker. 2000. a?Easter Island: Historical Anecdote or Warning for the Future?a? Ecological Economics 35(2).
Wright, R. 2004. A Short History of Progress. The House of Anansi Press: 211 p.