New Journal Paper on Migration, agriculture and forest cover change in rural Guatemala and Chiapas

The paper "Migration, agriculture and forest cover change in rural Guatemala and Chiapas" written by Angelsen, Arild; Aguilar-Støen, Mariel; Ainembabazi, John Herbert; Castellanos, Edwin; Taylor, Matthew has been published in Land.

New Journal Paper on Migration, agriculture and forest cover change in rural Guatemala and Chiapas

The paper is published as a New Journal Paper and can be downloaded here.

Abstract of the paper
This article investigates how migration and remittances affect forest cover in eight rural communities in Guatemala and Chiapas, Mexico. Based on household surveys and remote sensing data, we found little evidence to support the widespread claim that migration takes pressure off forests. In the Chiapas sites, we observed no significant changes in forest cover since 1990, while in the Guatemalan sites, migration may have increased demand for agricultural land, leading to an average annual forest loss of 0.73% during the first decade of the millennium. We suggest that when attractive opportunities exist to invest in agriculture and land expansion, remittances and returnee savings provide fresh capital that is likely to increase pressure on forests. Our study also has implications for the understanding of migration flows; in particular, migration has not implied an exodus out of agriculture for the remaining household members nor for the returning migrants. On the contrary, returning migrants are more likely to be involved in farming activities after their return than they were before leaving.

Published 20. March 2020 - 18:00 - Updated 20. March 2020 - 18:00