A recent study by David Kaimowitz, Graham Thiele, and Pablo Pacheco on the impact of structural adjustment on deforestation and forest degradation in lowland Bolivia reached the following conclusions:
1) Bolivia’s structural adjustment policies, initiated in 1985, increased poverty among certain groups, but did not provoke widespread migration to the agricultural frontier.
2) Structural adjustment contributed to large-scale forest clearing for soybean production for export and, to a lesser extent, forest degradation by lumber companies.
3) Some forest clearing and degradation was appropriate, but steps could have been taken to reduce unnecessary environmental costs and improve the distribution of the benefits.
4) Structural adjustment did not reduce the Bolivian government’s, already weak, capacity to address these problems but it missed the opportunity to improve it.
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