ABSTRACT This study takes a critical look at mainstream efforts to protect and rehabilitate the environment in Central America. Despite some notable successes, many forest protection and tree planting schemes have not been effectively implemented and have even contributed to further environmental degradation, social inequality and impoverishment. It is argued that the trade‐off between environmental protection and human welfare which characterizes many schemes to protect forests and promote tree planting undermines not only local livelihoods but also the possibility of achieving basic environmental objectives, given the nature of local responses and their effects on project implementation. There is a need for a more integrative and socially‐aware approach to environmental planning which addresses two fundamental problems: the failure to locate environmental protection initiatives within a broader development framework and the failure to integrate concerns for environmental protection with the needs and rights of local people. Addressing these two problems of ‘macro‐’ and ‘micro‐coherency’ in environmental planning requires not only dealing with the many technical, administrative and financial constraints which typically characterize environmental programmes and projects, but also changes in the balance of social forces.
Development and Change – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 1994
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