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Forests and Desertification

Lynn M. Wagner and Deborah Davenport


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Comment on this article   The international studies literature on desertification and forests has focused primarily on the institutional structures and debates emanating from decisions at the 1992 Rio Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). There delegates of 178 states agreed to undertake negotiation of an international agreement on desertification, but the consensus statement of Forest Principles fell short of calling for developing a binding international treaty for forests. An Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Desertification (INCD) was created soon after the conference, and the resulting UN Convention to Combat Desertification came into effect in 1996. Meanwhile, the forest issue has been discussed by a series of “panels” and “forums” but there has been no agreement to begin negotiations on an internationally binding forest convention ( Agarwal et al. 1999 ; Chasek et al. 2006 ; Blaser et al. forthcoming). Both desertification and forest policies address environmental issues related to land. However, the types of land covered and the ways the issues associated with that land are conceptualized represent opposite ends of a spectrum, with the former policy area focusing on land degradation in areas with limited biodiversity and the latter relating to protection of lands comprising some of the most biologically diverse areas in the world. Early supporters ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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