Tree Cover Loss in El Salvador's Shade Coffee Areas
AbstractShade coffee farms in Central America provide important ecological services. But because international coffee prices have fallen since 1990, many have been cleared to make way for more remunerative land uses. This problem is of particular concern in heavily deforested El Salvador, where a large share of the remaining tree cover is associated with shade coffee. We use satellite images, stakeholder interviews, and secondary data to analyze the magnitude, characteristics, and drivers of clearing in El Salvador’s shade coffee areas during the 1990s. We find that 13 percent of these areas was cleared, mostly in middle- and high-altitude regions. Falling coffee prices were not the only drivers of this phenomenon, however: a downward spiral of on-farm investment and yields, debt, poverty, urbanization, migration, and weak land use regulation also contributed. Our findings suggest that stricter enforcement of land use and land cover regulations is urgently needed to prevent further clearing.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-07-32.
Date of creation: 15 May 2007
Date of revision:
shade coffee; land use; land cover; deforestation; El Salvador;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
- Q17 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agriculture in International Trade
- Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy
- Q23 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Forestry
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGR-2007-08-08 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2007-08-08 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENV-2007-08-08 (Environmental Economics)
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