The Social Dynamics of Deforestation in the Philippines

Actions, Options and Motivations

by Gerhard van den Top

409 pp., illustrations & maps
Man and Nature in Asia # 6
Available from NIAS Press worldwide




Hardback - 2003, Available
ISBN 978 87 91114 14 4, £55.00
Paperback - 2010, Available
ISBN 978 87 91114 53 3, £18.99


• Ground-breaking study of deforestation in the Philippines (includes solid empirical data that previously was lacking).
• A major contribution to knowledge both in the field of Philippine studies and in relation to deforestation, environmental change, political ecology and development.
• Offers a compelling insight into the long history of national, regional and local outsiders gaining access to the natural resources and lands of this last large forest frontier in the Philippines.


The book offers a detailed case study into the dynamics of forest use, degradation and loss in North-east Luzon, Philippines. Following an interdisciplinary approach, the degradation and loss of forest cover in this area between 1950 and 1990 is related to the social and political context of logging, forest migration and changes in upland agriculture. The work makes a major contribution to knowledge both in the field of Philippine studies and in relation to deforestation, environmental change, political ecology and development.

Based on 10 years of research, five of which in the Sierra Madre region, the author introduces us to the actions, livelihood options and motives of all the principal groups of actors. Using a stimulating and fascinating balance between systematic survey data and the qualitative, almost anecdotal, reporting of conversations with these key actors, this book offers a compelling insight into the long history of national, regional and local outsiders gaining access to the natural resources and lands of this last large forest frontier in the Philippines.

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