UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Global Ecological Signpost, Local Reality: The Moraballi Creek Studies in Guyana and What Happened Afterwards Bulkan, Janette; Palmer, John


There is a common assumption that when sustainable forest management (SFM) is not practised the reasons are usually a lack of knowledge or lack of training in applying those techniques. We trace the intermittent development of techniques for SFM in the tropical rainforest of Guyana (South America), beginning with the classical observational ecology at Moraballi Creek in 1929. We reference the deliberate lack of application of SFM in spite of access to science-based information and repeated training. In this country, a precarious political democracy is destabilised by the gigantic profits from illegal logging and log trading which support corruption in the sector and generally across regulatory systems. The highest rate of graduate emigration in the world contributes to the difficulty of creating the core of moral leadership required to rise above the local tradition of under-the-table negotiation in place of the rule of law.

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