It comes as no surprise that any economic growth resulting from deforestation is unsustainable, but a new study in Science finds that the economics of deforestation actually take the form of an insidious boom-bust cycle. Boom-and-Bust Development Patterns Across the Amazon Deforestation Frontier shows that while income and education rates in 286 recently-deforested Brazilian Amazon communities initially soared, after the communities’ natural resources were depleted a few years later, the communities were worse-off than ever, with denser populations and fewer nutrients in the land to support the inhabitants.

This publication has previously outlined reasons that rainforests are worth more than the price of their natural resources (see our archives for details), but this study, undertaken by a team of researchers led by Dr. Ana Rodrigues of Cambridge University, presents another reason for forestry practices to play an important role in Copenhagen. (Source: Business Green, June 15, 2009)

Contact: Dr. Ana Rodrigues, Conservation Science Group, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, +44 (0) 1223 762979, aslr2@cam.ac.uk, www.zoo.cam.ac.uk