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Population and poverty in Jamaican deforestation: integrating satellite and household census data

Tole, L.A. (2002) Population and poverty in Jamaican deforestation: integrating satellite and household census data. GeoJournal, 57 (4). pp. 251-271. ISSN 0343-2521

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Abstract

This study uses MSS data to derive sub-national level deforestation rates at the constituency administrative level for Jamaica for 1987 and 1992. It then investigates the role of poverty and population in driving forest loss during this period by linking these estimates in a GIS with constituency level demographic and socioeconomic census data for the island. OLS regression results support the importance of population pressures and poverty in driving the destruction of Jamaica's forests and the relative contribution to deforestation of their various measures are noted and discussed. In addition to providing information on Jamaica's deforestation attributes, the study demonstrates how remotely sensed data can be used in conjunction with household census data to derive information on human-forest interactions at the sub-national level. A small simulation experiment based on regression results using key variables suggests that under any scenario, the impacts of key social and demographic changes on Jamaica's remaining forest cover may be substantial by the year 2010.