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The Social Lives of ForestsPast, Present, and Future of Woodland Resurgence$
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Susanna B. Hecht, Kathleen D. Morrison, and Christine Padoch

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226322667

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226024134.001.0001

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* From Fragmentation to Forest Resurgence

* From Fragmentation to Forest Resurgence

Paradigms, Representations, and Practices

(p.1) 1 * From Fragmentation to Forest Resurgence
The Social Lives of Forests

Susanna B. Hecht

Kathleen D. Morrison

Christine Padoch

University of Chicago Press

This chapter introduces the organizing principle of both the volume and the conference that gave rise to it—an argument that counters the “apocalyptic vision” that monopolizes both the popular and scientific literature on tropical ecosystems. It lays out the case for a complex relationship between the two billion people and the forest landscapes in which they reside and challenge the overly simplistic, unidirectional “human versus nature” narrative that dominates development studies and conservation biology, arguing that both in the present day and historically, relationships between humans and forest landscapes are and have been complex, even in regions that have been held up as “poster children” for this Malthusian view. It emphasizes the themes of complexity of forest recovery processes, created invisibility of recovering forests, and the importance of understanding forest histories to guide development and conservation efforts.

Keywords:   Malthusian, forest transition, forest recovery, forest history, conservation policy, development policy

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