|Sustainable Agriculture and the Environment in the Humid Tropics (BOSTID, 1993, 720 p.)|
|Part Two : Country Profiles|
The seven country profiles that constitute Part Two of this book are an integral part of the committee's report. They represent a portion of the data, observations, and insights that the committee amassed during the course of its study. Authors were selected based on broad recognition, by their scientific peers, of their authority and scientific knowledge of the deforestation and sustainable agriculture issues in the selected countries. The profiles on Brazil, Cote d'Ivoire, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, and Zaire portray the pressures on natural resources that these countries face and ways they can be mitigated. They tell part of the story of what is happening in the humid tropics.
The profiles represent each of the three major humid tropic regions-Africa, Asia, and Latin America-and include discussions on land use and forest conversion, general causes and consequences of deforestation, sustainable land use alternatives, and policy implications. Discussions focusing on only 7 of the more than 60 countries lying within the humid tropics cannot and do not represent the status of science, agricultural and land use practices, and policy of all humid tropic countries. They do, however, illustrate the diversity of production systems, with their unique environmental, social, and market niches, that can be found in any given locale or region. These varied presentations reinforce the committee's three major findings concerning the potential to restore degraded lands, the range of appropriate land uses, and the capacity for general economic growth with real-world examples.
No single type of land use can simultaneously meet all the requirements for sustainability or fit the diverse socioeconomic and ecological conditions found throughout the humid tropics. The seven country profiles provide examples of many of the options within the land use continuum that the committee outlines in Part One. They also illustrate the committee's view that progress toward sustainability in the humid tropics depends not only on the availability of improved techniques of land use, but on the creation of a more favorable environment for their development, dissemination, and implementation.