Logging the Globe

Logging the Globe

Copyright Date: 1995
Pages: 440
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  • Book Info
    Logging the Globe
    Book Description:

    Patricia Marchak examines issues particular to the northern and southern regions and the global effects of trends in each region, using British Columbia, Brazil, Chile, Indonesia, and Thailand as full case studies and Malaysia, Myanmar, and other south-east Asian regions as shorter case studies. She also examines Japanese forestry and the Japanese paper industry.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-6561-6
    Subjects: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Maps
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Tables
    (pp. ix-xii)
  5. Figures
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. Measurements and Abbreviations
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xvii-2)
  8. 1 Globalization and Restructuring of the Forest Industry
    (pp. 3-22)

    Swiddeners, farmers, ranchers, miners, builders, warriors, and generals; the impossibly poor, the implausibly rich - these are deforesters of record. Among them have been and still are national governments exercised about their territorial sovereignty or seeking ways of avoiding redistribution of agricultural land by clearing forests to give subsistence plots to the poor. Both literally and mythically, they are explorers in search of their El Dorados, conquistadores for whom natives, as well as trees, are impediments along the way. They seek fuel; they seek food; they seek solace, medicine, or power. For many the forest is an alien and frightening...

    • 2 Northern Forestry in Changing Conditions
      (pp. 25-48)

      Northern coniferous forests still grow three-quarters of all industrial wood.* Northern countries still produce most of the world’s lumber, pulp, and paper. But the north’s potential for continued growth is limited in some regions by a deficiency of wood and more generally by the lengthy period of growth for its trees. As well, its own technologies and the external environment are fundamentally changing the northern forest industry. It has automated its production systems and reduced employment in rural areas. Its logging practices and pulpmill emissions have engendered intense negative public opinion. Technologies of other industries and socio-demographic changes affect its...

    • 3 Restructuring the Northern Industry
      (pp. 49-84)

      In forestry as in most other industries, the development of capacities to mass produce goods led to increasing levels of concentration at each new stage of industrial development. A century ago, small, family-owned businesses and rural farms were overwhelmed by large companies that were able to form because of social and technical changes in their economic context. Then it was steam-powered cable logging and railroad hauling that made the difference to forest companies. Those with access to bank funding could adopt the new technologies and grow beyond the local market; those who could not tended to fall by the way,...

    • 4 The Profligate Century and Its Aftermath in British Columbia: A Case Study
      (pp. 85-116)

      British Columbia, Canada’s Pacific coastal province, is an example of a region that has played out the captured-state model of contemporary history. It is also a prime example of a traditional northern forestry region struggling to emerge from its past and deal with a dramatically changed global marketplace.

      Its 60 million hectares of softwood forest (just under 3 per cent of the world’s total) gave it an export crop to be envied. Geography cut off easy east–west trade but made the much greater U.S. market accessible. Large American and central Canadian companies were part of the logging scene by...

    • 5 Japan and the Creation of Global Forest Industry
      (pp. 117-142)

      Japan’s construction companies buy wood in neighbouring tropical countries and North America. Its pulpmills devour wood from every forested or plantation region. Its papermills are major consumers of imported pulp from a dozen or more countries. Its newsprint and finepaper producers are now becoming established in offshore locations. The companies and mills of Japan, more than any other participants, have created the global forest economy, and they have been major forces in the deforestation connected to that industry. This chapter considers them in the Japanese context. They are engaged in so many ventures elsewhere that we meet them again and...

    • 6 Tropical Forests and Forest Dwellers
      (pp. 145-166)

      Tropical forests are fragile. In many places they are irreplaceable. Before encountering the particular nature of industrial forestry in tropical and subtropical regions, we will consider some of the characteristics of the forests themselves and some data on the extent of deforestation and its ecological implications.

      People of the forest are also fragile, or at least vulnerable to the predations of other people and organized states, companies, and groups who exploit the forests. Exploiters disperse, harm the bodies, or destroy the spirit of forest dwellers. Many who live in forests are indigenous peoples whose tribes or bands have subsisted as...

    • 7 Industrial Forestry in the Southern Hemisphere
      (pp. 167-193)

      In response to a plea from a British schoolchild to save the tropical forest, the prime minister of Malaysia defended the logging industry in these terms: “The timber industry helps hundreds of thousands of poor people in Malaysia. Are they supposed to remain poor because you want to study tropical animals?” (letter to Darrell Abercrombie, 15 Aug. 1987; printed in Malaysia, INSAN, 1992:76-7). While the prime minister’s retort reflects a self-interested policy that benefits the few - overwhelmingly politicians and their families - who control logging concessions in Malaysia, there is also a barb for developed countries in the response....

    • 8 The Tropical Forestry Action Plan and Plantation Forestry
      (pp. 194-216)

      Government planners, international bankers, and aid officials attended an international conference on tropical deforestation in Bellagio, Italy, in 1985. They termed the danger to tropical forests one of the most serious environmental threats of our time, and while they spoke, an estimated 500 hectares per day disappeared. Deforestation is an ecological disaster. It is also a social disaster, and for many indigenous forest dwellers or poor people forced to encroach on forest lands, it is an act of genocide. The proposed solution, according to the international planners, is to invest in improved forestry and plantations.

      Buyers, investors, consultants, and research...

    • 9 Thailand, the Land No One Should Use: A Case Study
      (pp. 217-236)

      The commercial world at its doorstep, Thailand appears to be a rapidly developing country, one of Asia’s tigers, with a growth rate in double digits. Its capital city, Bangkok, is literally sinking under the weight of this development, and moving along its congested streets is an exercise in futility. Thailand’s population has ballooned since the beginning of this phase of rapid development, and the country can no longer support its people. Prostitution and venereal diseases are widespread. The water is severely polluted. Many of the villages have suffered from floods because of denuded hillsides and silted rivers. Natural forests, which...

    • 10 Indonesia - Peddlars, Princes, and Loggers: A Case Study
      (pp. 237-268)

      The Wai Seputih river in Sumatra is banked by tropical forests scheduled for destruction. Monkeys still play at the edges, but other wildlife is not visible - perhaps an occasional small wild boar, rarely a butterfly. It is a hot day, and the motorized longboat in which we travel toward a plantation area contributes to the general cacophony of the busy waterway. This is a major route to the channel between Sumatra and Java, a route ideally situated for the flotation of logs as soon as the concession companies get their act together. They have mills ready for wood, and...

    • 11 The Plantation Economy in Brazil: A Case Study
      (pp. 269-302)

      The public-relations officer at Aracruz mused over lunch about the character of Brazil. In university, he said, he had learned Marxist theories. These coincided with what he had earlier been taught by the Catholic Church. “Both taught us that poverty is virtue; wealth, sin.” Now as an employee of a major corporation, he had come to the conclusion that the company was doing more to relieve poverty than either the Marxists or the church, and he no longer thought poverty was particularly virtuous.

      A history of plantation-crop cycles characterizes Brazil and much of Latin America: brazilwood from 1500 to 1550,...

    • 12 Chilean Temperate and Plantation Forests: A Case Study
      (pp. 303-323)

      In August 1991, forty-one Chilean university faculty members issued a statement calling for immediate political action to conserve native forests (“Urgencia,” 1991). The group, consisting of individuals at different universities throughout the country, asked for the termination of massive subsidies for the planting of monoculture exotic species that displace native stands. They argued that government policies had facilitated the destruction of native forests by encouraging foreign and domestic investment in plantations. In April 1992, the president of the republic introduced a bill in Parliament for the “Recovery and Promotion of the Native Forest” (Chile, Ministerio Secretaria General, 1992). Between these...

    • 13 Conclusion: Sustainable Forests and Communities
      (pp. 324-344)

      Deforestation is a central problem of our time: it impoverishes the earth, threatens the survival of all species, reduces biodiversity, destroys subsistence cultures and human, as well as other creature, habitat, and robs humanity of a spiritual home. Even so, consumption of wood products continues to grow. It grows because people need fuel and lack other sources even more than because they turn wood into houses and advertising copy. The demand for fuel wood grows out of poverty; the massive waste in excessive buildings and unnecessary newsprint results from affluence. Can we halt deforestation while still sustaining human communities?


  11. Bibliography
    (pp. 345-392)
  12. Index
    (pp. 393-404)