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Causes of tropical deforestation in Ecuador: a statistical analysis, The

Douglas Southgate, Rodrigo Sierra, Lawrence Brown

Discussion paper, 16 pages

Reported in this paper is a statistical analysis of agricultural colonization and land clearing in eastern Ecuador. The results of the analysis bolster many of the arguments that have been made about the social forces driving deforestation. In general, the prospect of capturing agricultural rates stimulates settlement of tree-covered hinterlands. Accordingly, the presence of roads and urban centres attracts rural settlement. Colonists also prefer to go where soils are suitable for crop or livestock production, all else remaining the same. In addition to being a function of population pressure, the extent of land clearing is shown to be a consequence of tenure insecurity.

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