paper, 290 p., $37.50
It takes a knowledgeable leader in the field of international forestry to write such a thorough review of the geopolitical policies that affect the world’s forests. Beginning with the rise of the closed-canopy tropical rain forest, author Duncan Poore traces the history of the forest community and its connection to the evolution of man. He concisely relates the changes that occurred over time with the settlement of nomadic societies onto the land, and the gradual impact of farming and trade on their surroundings.
By the 1950s the tropical moist forest began to be cleared for agricultural purposes, to feed the forest-dwelling population. The difficulties that arose were considered challenges in land management, not in forest management. In 1972, there was discussion of the inherent problems at the First World Conference on the Human Environment. Growing out of that Stockholm Conference were guidelines on land use planning and sustainable forest management. Poore outlines the history of the International Tropical Timber Organization and discusses the complex political forces that have formed the policies that will direct the future of the world’s forests.
— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden