Forest Frontiers


The history of the tropical forests of Latin America and the Caribbean goes well beyond the much discussed deforestation that gathered such momentum starting in the 1960s and 70s. The extraction of timber and other resources, such as rubber, has altered the structure of some forests by depleting the species of precious woods and multiplying rubber trees. The search for valuable natural resources lured settlers into areas once populated only by ancestral indigenous groups, drawing these territories closer to the societies that laid claim to them. But despite efforts to nationalize these vast forested domains, as shown by the proliferation of towns and local governments, their incorporation remains elusive.