Resource Details

Tropical Forest Transitions and Globalization: Neo-Liberalism, Migration, Tourism, and International Conservation Agendas

Literature: Journal Articles

Kull, C.A., Ibrahim, C.K. & Meredith, T.C. 2007, "Tropical Forest Transitions and Globalization: Neo-Liberalism, Migration, Tourism, and International Conservation Agendas", Society and Natural Resources, vol. 20, no. 8, pp. 723-737.

Contact Info

Corresponding Author:


  • School of Geography and Environmental Science, Monash University, Melbourne, Vic 3800, Australia
  • Department of Geography, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada


Society and Natural Resources

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  • In this article, researchers investigate the applicability to tropical countries of the model of forest transition in temperate countries: that as a more modern industrial economy develops, farmers abandon marginal lands, demand for forest conservation increases, and as a result more forest regenerates.
  • They study two countries, Costa Rica and Madagascar, which underwent high levels of deforestation in the 20th century.
  • Superficially, the regrowth in Costa Rica fits the model that modernization leads to forest regrowth.
  • However, the authors assert that upon looking deeper, there are factors involved in Costa Rica's globalization that are separate from the modernization of temperate countries have lead to the regrowth.
  • The authors highlight four forces of globalization that are affecting land-use in Costa Rica. 1) neo-liberal economic ideas - encouraging market-based instruments to encourage conservation. 2) labor migration - rural poor are moving to cities. 3) growth of international tourism - more holiday and retirement properties, real estate market transforming landscapes. 4) international environment agenda - NGOs, scientists, and communities are attempting to influence forest management across nation-state borders.
  • The authors predict that Globalization in Madagascar is going to follow a similar trend to Costa Rica.
  • However, in Madagascar farmers are not abandoning fields because the migration is mostly by students and professionals, not by rural farmers.
  • Also, Madagascar is much poorer than Costa Rica, with a more tenuous governance institution.
  • The authors assert that a) Madagascar is not going to have regrowth similar to Costa Rica even though it has similar changes associated with globalization and b) neither of the countries are undergoing the modernization in the same way as the temperate countries did when they began to have regrowing forests.

Geographical Region

  • Southern Central America
  • Country

  • Other
  • Costa Rica
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