Poverty and Agrarian-Forest Interactions in Thailand

TitlePoverty and Agrarian-Forest Interactions in Thailand
Annotated RecordNot Annotated
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsFisher R, Hirsch P
Secondary TitleGeographical Research
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Asia
Key themesEnvironment, Formalisation-titling, MarginalisedPeople

In this paper we address the often sterile and circular debates over relationships between poverty and deforestation. These debates revolve around questions of whether forest loss causes poverty or poverty contributes to forest encroachment, and questions of whether it is loss of access to forests or dependence on forest-based livelihoods that cause poverty. We suggest that a way beyond the impasse is to set such debates within the context of agrarian change. Livelihoods of those who live in or near forests depend considerably on a rapidly changing agriculture, yet agrarian contexts receive only background attention in popular, political and academic discourse over poverty and forests. Moreover, to the extent that agriculture is considered, little heed is paid to social, technical and economic change. We therefore address agriculture’s changing relationships with the wider economy, otherwise referred to as the agrarian transition, and with the natural resource base on which it depends. The paper draws on the experience of Thailand to illustrate our key argument, and more specifically addresses the situation on the resource periphery through a look at the agriculture-forest interface.


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Journal Article