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Is Poverty to Blame for Soil, Pasture and Forest Degradation in Peru's Altiplano?

  • Swinton, Scott M.
  • Quiroz, Roberto

Links between poverty and natural resource degradation are examined in the context of soil erosion, fertility loss and overgrazing in the Peruvian Altiplano. Multiple regression analysis of 1999 farm survey data examines 1) what agricultural practices affect natural resource degradation, and then 2) what factors affect farmers' choices of those agricultural practices. Soil erosion and fertility loss appear reduced by increased fallow in crop rotations. Overgrazing and range species loss are affected by changes in herd size and rotational grazing. The effect of investment poverty on natural resource outcomes is not clear. However, social and human capital variables both tend to favor the choice of more sustainable agricultural practices. Natural resource conservation policies that build on traditional social institutions may offer promise in areas with strong social fabric where farmers tend not to invest financially in natural resource conservation.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305-750X(03)00154-2
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

Volume (Year): 31 (2003)
Issue (Month): 11 (November)
Pages: 1903-1919

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Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:31:y:2003:i:11:p:1903-1919
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

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  1. Templeton, Scott R. & Scherr, Sara J., 1999. "Effects of Demographic and Related Microeconomic Change on Land Quality in Hills and Mountains of Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 903-918, June.
  2. Mink, S.D., 1993. "Poverty, Population, and the Environment," World Bank - Discussion Papers 189, World Bank.
  3. Reardon, Thomas & Vosti, Stephen A., 1995. "Links between rural poverty and the environment in developing countries: Asset categories and investment poverty," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(9), pages 1495-1506, September.
  4. Swinton, Scott M., 2002. "Capturing Household-Level Spatial Influence In Agricultural Management Using Random Effects Regression," Staff Papers 11516, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  5. Clay, Daniel & Reardon, Thomas A. & Kangasniemi, Jaakko, 1995. "Sustainable Intensification in the Highland Tropics: Rwandan Farmers' Investments in Land Conservation and Soil Fertility," Staff Papers 201198, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  6. Lau, Lawrence J., 1986. "Functional forms in econometric model building," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1515-1566 Elsevier.
  7. Duraiappah, Anantha K., 1998. "Poverty and environmental degradation: A review and analysis of the nexus," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(12), pages 2169-2179, December.
  8. Lutz, Ernst & Pagiola, Stefano & Reiche, Carlos, 1994. "The Costs and Benefits of Soil Conservation: The Farmers' Viewpoint," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 9(2), pages 273-95, July.
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