Forest and environmental degradation

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Abstract

Recurrent concern has been expressed over recent decades regarding tropical deforestation. Concern has focused on the unsustainable nature of many of the agronomic systems that have been established on cleared forest land and on the broader biophysical feedbacks that are associated with the loss of forest cover; the latter include climatic and hydrological feedbacks and loss of biodiversity. The concern with tropical deforestation, dating particularly from the early 1970s (Gómez-Pompa et al., 1972; Denevan, 1973; Richards, 1973) has been an important element of the global environmental movement and it has provoked considerable scientific investigation of tropical forests.