Policy ForumEcology

Globalization, Migration, and Latin American Ecosystems

Science  24 Sep 2004:
Vol. 305, Issue 5692, pp. 1915-1916
DOI: 10.1126/science.1103179

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Summary

To balance the needs of a human population that should reach 9 billion by 2050 with the conservation of natural ecosystems, we need land-use and conservation policies that promote the most efficient use of the world's resources. High-yield agriculture and rural-urban migration, two important characteristics of the globalization process, are making positive contributions toward this goal in Latin America, but their potential contribution for conservation efforts has received little attention. The authors of this Policy Forum suggest that important social and conservation gains can be made by focusing social programs on preparing rural migrants for an urban environment and promoting ecosystem recovery in the marginal agriculture and pasture lands that are being abandoned.