Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2013.10.007
Title: Deforestation in the Ayeyarwady Delta and the conservation implications of an internationally-engaged Myanmar
Authors: Webb, E.L. 
Jachowski, N.R.A.
Phelps, J.
Friess, D.A. 
Than, M.M.
Ziegler, A.D.
Keywords: Agriculture
Cropland
Expansion
Governance
Land use
Mangrove
Policy
Issue Date: 2014
Citation: Webb, E.L., Jachowski, N.R.A., Phelps, J., Friess, D.A., Than, M.M., Ziegler, A.D. (2014). Deforestation in the Ayeyarwady Delta and the conservation implications of an internationally-engaged Myanmar. Global Environmental Change 24 (1) : 321-333. ScholarBank@NUS Repository. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2013.10.007
Abstract: Myanmar is a country of huge biodiversity importance that is undergoing major political change, bringing with it new international engagement. This includes access to international markets, which will likely spur investment in export-oriented agriculture, leading to increased pressures on already threatened ecosystems. This scenario is illustrated in the Ayeyarwady Delta, the country's agricultural heartland sustaining high deforestation rates. Using the Delta as a model system, we use an integrated approach to inquire about whether and how imminent agricultural reforms associated with an internationally-engaged Myanmar could introduce new actors and incentives to invest in agricultural expansion that could affect deforestation rates. We use a novel remote sensing analysis to quantify deforestation rates for the Delta from 1978 to 2011, develop business-as-usual deforestation scenarios, and contextualize those results with an analysis of contemporary policy changes within Myanmar that are expected to alter the principal drivers of land-cover change. We show that mangrove systems of Myanmar are under greater threat than previously recognized, and that agriculture has been the principle driver of deforestation on the Delta. The centrality of agriculture to the Myanmar economy indicates that emerging policies are likely to tip the scales towards agricultural expansion, agro-industrial investment and potentially greater rates of deforestation due to the introduction of well-funded investors, insufficient land tenure agreements, and low governance effectiveness. The broad national challenge is to initiate environmental governance reforms (including safeguards) in the face of significant pressures for land grabbing and opportunistic resource extraction. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Source Title: Global Environmental Change
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/114160
ISSN: 09593780
DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2013.10.007
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