Beyond Peasant Deforestation: Environment and Development in Rural Jamaica
Global Environmental Change
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Jamaica is experiencing one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world, with severe environmental consequences attendant to the loss of its forests. It is also plagued by high levels of poverty, particularly in rural areas. As throughout much of the tropics, impoverished peasant farmers are blamed as the primary agents in Jamaica's forest colonisation. Employing a case study in the Blue Mountains, this paper explores the discord that exists between forest conservation and the development priorities of poor farmers, arguing that this unsustainable dichotomy can only be understood by acknowledging the political economy which constrains peasant agriculture.