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History of Deforestation in the Philippines (prof. Bao Maohong)

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History of deforestation in the Philippines

Bao Maohong

 Deforestation in colonial times

o Definition: Forest coverage replaced by other mode of land use

 Impact of human and natural activities.

 Deals with replacement by human activities

o Greg Bankoff: Forest coverage at 92%% when Spanish came in

 Decrease to 59-56% in the US colonial period

 Rate of forest coverage decrease over US and Japanese period: 0.71%

* Vs. 0.16% during Spanish period

 Decrease of forest coverage

o Forest coverage rate per year

 1950 - 49.06%

* Estimate from the rate of 1969

 1957 - 44.2%

* Nat. Economic Committee of 1959

 1969 - 34.9%

* Phil-German Forestry Resources Inventory

 1988 - 23.7%

* Sweden Space Corporation

 Environmental impact of deforestation

o Ormoc, Leyte

o Slide content

 Soil erosion and landslides: Washi Typhoon

 Desiccation and further desertification: Iloilo

* Water shortages

 Death of coral and other sea species near coast

 Depletion of biodiversity and decrease of income from non-timber forest products

 Intensification of the depletion of ozone and global warming

 Deculturation of minority uplanders

o Indigenous culture: organic and integral

 Communal woodland and pasture; hunting, gathering, fishing, simple agriculture

 Interaction through food chain and nutrient cycle

o Culture based on own ecological diversity; NOT harmful to environment

o Deforestation uprooted these minority uplanders and further destroyed the dynamic of revival of cultures of minority uplanders

o The loss of cultural diversity definitely decreased the soft power of the Philippine state.

 The proximate or immediate causes of deforestation

o No single cause, nor instant ones.

 Economic and political

 Ultimate causes?

o Logging corporations

o Shifting cultivation and Kaingineros

o Breakdown of forest management system

 Joint logging corporation

o 1950s: Japan imported 0.111 million cubic meters of logs from the Philippines.

 Increased to 3.7 Million by 1961 (Over half the total amount of logs in the Philippines

o 1964-1973: Japan imported 63.7 Million Cubic Meters (62% of the total amount of logs in the Philippines)

o 1974: Decrease due to exhausted timber resources.

o Paralleling with legal export of timber, almost the same amount of timber was smuggled to Japan in these 30 PAST years

o Corporation actually practiced clean logging

 For economic reasons (chainsaws, bulldozers, etc)

 Japanese ODA to the Philippines

o After Japan became OECD, began to provide ODA to the Philippines

o Before 1990

 Main aims of Japanese ODA: To develop the natural resourced that JAPAN needed.

 Assistance project helped timber extraction in the Philippines

o 1990: ODA added the forestry dimension that focused on

 Kaingineros and shifting cultivation

o Commercial logging left wide shrub lands and remnant of forest that are easily transformed to farm land

o Forest occupants from the plains finished the second step of deforestation

 Cleaned out the shrublands via Carabao logging

o Partial swidden shrank the fallow period

 Adopted sedentary cultivation used in the lowlands

 Preoccupation: Population growth

o 1948- 1990: Increase from 19.2M to 60.7M

o Ration of urban to rural

 1948: 27%

 1980: 37.3%

o Rural

 73% 62.7%

o In some densely populated areas, population growth was 2 times, from 1948 to 1980

 Growth was 7 times in some remote and sparsely populated areas.

 Push forces to migration

o Capital intensive industrialization in NCR

 No natural contacts with other economic sections horizontall and vertically: No need for large numbers of workers

o Philippine agriculture was commercialized

 Driven by export products

 Could not absorb large scale agricultural laborers

 Average

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