Cover Image
close this bookAgricultural Expansion and Pioneer Settlements in the Humid Tropics (UNU, 1988, 305 pages)
View the documentAcknowledgments
close this folder1. Introduction
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentReferences
close this folder2. Spontaneous and planned settlement in south-east Asia
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentThailand
View the documentClearing and settlement in the highland-lowland transition zone of northern Thailand
View the documentMalaysia
View the documentThe Philippines
View the documentIndonesia
View the documentConclusion: government-sponsored versus spontaneous settlement
View the documentReferences
close this folder3. Types of spontaneous pioneer settlement in Thailand
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentThe causes of pioneer settlement
View the documentExpansion of farm land by local peasants within their village territory: the example of Nong Samong
View the documentLand colonization by peasants outside their village territory: the example of km 79
View the documentColonization by medium- and large-scale farmers: the example of the Chon Buri Hinterland
View the documentReferences
close this folder4. The forest colonization process: case studies of two communities in north-east and south-east Thailand
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentThe problem
close this folderCase study 1: history of settlement and in-migration
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentSettlers and occupation groups
View the documentSettlement pattern and the community
close this folderCase study 2: history of settlement
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentSettlers and occupation groups
View the documentSettlement pattern and the community
View the documentConclusion
View the documentReferences
close this folder5. Differentiation and dynamics of land-use systems in a mountain-valley environment: a area, case study of new colonization areas in the Upper Mae Nam Pa Sak catchment Thailand
View the document(introduction...)
close this folderDevelopment of land-use systems
View the documentAgricultural production conditions in the study area
View the documentLand clearance and emergence of present land-use systems
View the documentProblems and potential avenues of development of present land use
close this folderLand-use development in the Scarp-Valley zone
View the documentThe traditional land-use system
View the documentClearance of the Scarp Zone and intensification of farming in the Valley Zone
View the documentConclusion
View the documentReferences
close this folder6. Man in the mangrove forest: a socio-economic case study in Southern Thailand
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentReferences
close this folder7. The Jengka Triangle: a report on research in progress
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentEvaluating the Jengka Triangle experience
View the documentThe urban subsystem in the Jengka area
View the documentPreliminary observations
View the documentThe second-generation "problem"
View the documentConclusions
View the documentReferences
close this folder8. Energy use in West Malaysian rural villages, with special reference to Felda villages
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentDescription of the selected villages
View the documentComparison of the economic energy situation in the villages
View the documentHousehold budget allotment for energy costs
View the documentEnergy supply and the use of alternative energy sources
View the documentReferences
close this folder9. Are Malaysian land settlers (new) peasants? Antropological observation of a nascent Community
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentPresentation of a Felda scheme
View the documentDefining the peasantry
View the documentFelda settlers versus malay peasants
View the documentEmergence of a new community
View the documentConclusion
View the documentNotes
View the documentReferences
close this folder10. Resource use of frontiers and pioneer settlement in southern Sumatra
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentSumatra's role in pioneer settlement in Indonesia
View the documentPioneer settlement in the Mountain Zone
View the documentPioneer settlement in the peneplains
View the documentPioneer settlement in the swamps of the eastern lowlands
View the documentConclusions
View the documentReferences
close this folder11. Ex-military settlements in Indonesia and the emergence of social differentiation in frontier areas
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentInitial efforts
View the documentEarly settlement pattern
View the documentThe Sapta Marga concept applied
View the documentTowards integration
View the documentConcluding remarks
View the documentReferences
close this folder12. A survey of government pioneer land settlement programmes in south-east Asia
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentObjectives of land settlement programmes
View the documentOrganization of land settlement agencies
View the documentImplementation concepts and practices
View the documentIntake of settlers
View the documentConcluding remarks
View the documentReferences
close this folder13. Un exemple de colonisation des terres marginales: le cas du nord-est Ivoirien
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentLe paysage naturel: realités et mythes Le paysage naturel: realites et mythes
View the documentLe paysage humain et social
View the documentProblematique économique et la question des terres Problematique economique et la question des terres
View the documentLes initiatives publiques et les nouvelles conditions du développement dans le nord-est
View the documentLe projet de développement intégré du nord-est
View the documentRésumé
View the documentConclusion
View the documentBibliographie sommaire
close this folder14. The land Tenure and agrarian system in the new cocoa frontier of Ghana: Wassa Akropong case study
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentEvolution of the customary tenure system
View the documentThe migrant farmer and land access
View the documentSize of holdings
View the documentResources
View the documentLand use
View the documentFarmers perception of tenure problems
View the documentConclusion
View the documentReferences
close this folder15. Colonization in Central America
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentObjectives and dangers of colonization in the humid tropics
View the documentEcological regions Of Central America
View the documentThe process of colonization In Central America
View the documentCountry situations
View the documentThe process of land conversion
View the documentResearch and implementation needs
View the documentConclusion
View the documentNotes
View the documentReferences
close this folder16. Organized settlement on the Amazon frontier: The Caquetá project in Colombia
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentThe project
View the documentProject characteristics
View the documentTarget population
View the documentDevelopment or stabilizing strategy
View the documentThe environmental issue in Colombia
View the documentMaterial accomplishments of Phase II
View the documentProject investment and cost
View the documentSocio-political events in the project area
View the documentStability of the production model
View the documentEnvironmental effects
View the documentEnvironmental costs
View the documentFrontier stabilization alternatives
View the documentFrontier management technology
close this folder17. The colonization and occupation of Brazilian Amazonia
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentRecent economic development and governmental policies regarding the Amazon
View the documentAmazonian colonization from 1964 to the present
View the documentThe border and social conflicts
View the documentNotes
View the documentReferences
View the documentParticipants and contributors

The environmental issue in Colombia

The expansion of Colombia's agricultural frontier has been characterized by the requirements of a country whose economy and foreign earnings have been and still are based on coffee production. Thus the first important land clearing dates back to the mid-nineteenth century; these initial efforts were concentrated in the volcanic ash soils of the Andes mountain slopes. The colonization (land clearing) of Colombia's flat lands has occurred only recently (1900-1910).

Given the cultivation technology utilized in the coffee farms, in which native tree species were alternated with plantains to provide permanent shade for the coffee plants, the colonization of these slopes did not require thorough forest clearing and thus its environmental impact was hardly visible.

Concomitantly the population concentrated around the coffee belt, and until 1950 at least 60 per cent of the national territory (eastern plains, Orinoco and Amazon basins, coastal valleys) was practically uninhabited and, consequently, Colombia possessed a sizeable forest reserve. This state of apparent environmental wealth was to be placed in jeopardy due not only to the rapid demographic growth and its ensuing land tenure conflicts but also to the prevailing notion whereby land acquisition through forest clearing was associated with the patriotic and economic accomplishments of the coffee pioneers of the nineteenth century.

It was not until as recently as the end of the 1960s that both settlers and government agencies began to accept the possible catastrophic effects of indiscriminate and reckless forest clearing, especially in the more fragile and erosion-prone soils of the Amazon Basin and of the eastern slopes of the Andes range.

Thus there is nothing unusual about the prevailing attitude of government authorities and the local community regarding the environmental consequences of the type of colonization going on in the Caquetá region in the middle of the 1960s, an attitude enhanced by INCORA through its colonization programme.

It was the belief at the time (as recorded in the documentation prepared to obtain financing from the World Bank for Phase I of the Caquetá rural settlement project) that "the soils of the project area adapted well to natural and improved pastures for livestock raising." Moreover, it was asserted that the soils of areas cleared by pioneers using the traditional slash-and-burn technique could best be protected by the establishment of pastures, although it was accepted that the soils' primary "vocation" was to sustain the original tropical forest. Nevertheless, the area (in 1967) was one of the main sources of one or two highly sought species of commercial timber, and very little mention was made either in the project documents or in the Bank's appraisal (1973) with regard to the cost in opportunity of indiscriminate timber clearing. Less or nothing was said regarding the costs to society of promoting through government investment the elimination of the hitherto unappraised environmental capital represented by the forests, fauna, and flora of the Amazon.

It was not until Phase I had been completed that the first visual impact of uncontrolled deforestation was registered and that some of the local government officials began to voice their concern. This, however, was not enough to mitigate optimism both within INCORA and the World Bank regarding the socio-economic success of this type of colonization project.

However, in order to appease criticism from the natural resources institute, INDERENA, and other government agencies, both INCORA and the Bank, which were already preparing Phase II, did voice some concern over the possible environmental impact of accelerating the removal of "the forest cover and replacing it with pastures," and thus Phase II specifically included funds for research in the development of environmentally oriented livestock management techniques. The two agencies also conceived the establishment of a forest reserve covering an area of 20,000 ha within the project area, to be monitored, managed, and policed by INDERENA in order to develop natural resource management techniques.

By isolating the environmental component from the research and development activities, the Bank and government experts confirmed the general conceptual trend in dealing with development projects whereby natural resource management and conservation are treated as if a world apart from production.

In the specific experiences of Caquetá Phase II, this separation contributed to spreading the notion among the settlers that INCORA was the friendly agency and INDERENA the settlers' enemy. It is unfortunate, too, that the sums set aside to finance the activities of INDERENA amounted to only US$552,000.00, or 1.48 per cent of the total estimated project funding.

The contrast between the amount of funds allocated to identify future natural resource management techniques and those allocated for road construction (32%) are a good indication of the degree of environmental awareness at the time (1974) and, at the same time, the reliance on an unproven production model in which replacement of forest cover with pastures supposedly secured ecologic balance. This contrast also contributes to our understanding of the manner in which Phase II was evaluated by both INCORA and the Bank.

It is hardly surprising that there is already a Phase III project under preparation, while, simultaneously, a small group of destitute pioneers supported by guerrillas are demanding that the government withdraw from the National Forest Reserve an area of about 1.5 million ha adjacent to Phase II and provide funds for production credit and road building along lines similar to the model used in Phase II.