Ecological and social consequences of the Forest Transition Theory as applied to the Argentinean Great Chaco

Authors
Matteucci, Silvia Diana; Totino, Mariana; Arístide, Pablo
Publication Year
2016
Language
English
Format
article
Status
Published version
Description
Forest transition is the change from net deforestation to net reforestation. According to the Forest Transition Theory (FTT) in its original form, reforestation is triggered by the last stage of socio-economic development, when the rural population migrates to urban areas, and forest cover expands naturally on abandoned agricultural fields. The assumptions underlying the FTT have been changed to extrapolate it to the Argentinean Great Chaco (AGC). It is suggested that Indigenous people and low income peasants, who use land inefficiently, should migrate to the urban areas in search of a better life quality. Thus, the abandoned lands could be used for conservation, while the most suitable soils could be destined for food production. However, the subtropical forests in the AGC are highly vulnerable to desertification, as a consequence of rainfall irregularity and high summer evaporation rates. The probability exists that forest recovery does not occur in time scales relevant for conservation. Drawing on research data and bibliography, we tested the validity of the three main assumptions suggested for the Forest Transition Theory as applied to the AGC. Results show that original inhabitants have sustainable land use strategies; rural outmigration is driven by high-input agriculture, which pushes people toward the city skirts; and expansion of intensive agriculture is independent of soils production capacity. We discuss the social and environmental consequences of the proposed assumptions.
Fil: Matteucci, Silvia Diana. Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Arquitectura y Urbanismo. Grupo de Ecología del Paisaje y Medio Ambiente; Argentina. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas; Argentina
Fil: Totino, Mariana. Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Arquitectura y Urbanismo. Grupo de Ecología del Paisaje y Medio Ambiente; Argentina. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas; Argentina
Fil: Arístide, Pablo. Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Arquitectura y Urbanismo. Grupo de Ecología del Paisaje y Medio Ambiente; Argentina. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas; Argentina
Subject
DEFORESTATION
DEVELOPMENT
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE
INTENSIVE AGRICULTURE
LOW-INCOME PEASANTS
MULTIFUNCTIONAL LAND USE
Ciencias Medioambientales
Ciencias de la Tierra y relacionadas con el Medio Ambiente
CIENCIAS NATURALES Y EXACTAS
Access level
Restricted access
License
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.5/ar/
Repository
CONICET Digital (CONICET)
Institution
Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas
OAI Identifier
oai:ri.conicet.gov.ar:11336/59872