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    Author(s): Cynthia S. Simmons; Robert T. Walker; Charles H. Wood
    Date: 2002
    Source: Agroforestry Systems 56 :89–105
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: Download Publication  (423 B)


    Forest regrowth is a notable phenomenon across the tropical forest latitudes. Such reforestation takes place in the wake of land abandonment, occurs cyclically in a rotational agricultural system, and may result from the deliberate planting of trees by farmers. Although less extensive than successional forest regeneration, tree planting by small farmers can have potentially important environmental impacts at both the site and global scale. This paper examines tree-planting efforts by small farmers in the tropical frontier regions of Panama and Brazil in order to gauge the magnitude of reforestation activities, and to identify factors that influence these efforts. This paper discusses the environmental regulations, forestry law, and tenure institutions in both countries, and performs a comparative analysis of reforestation efforts with information derived from household surveys (n = 356) and in-depth tree planting interviews (n = 35). Results from logistic regression are also presented. Our results show that tree planting occurs more frequently in Panama, which we attribute to greater external support in the provisioning of extension and materials and strong market incentives. We suggest that the proximity of the study sites to Panama City facilitates external support and market drivers. Finally, our results suggest that land tenure security is an influential determinant of reforestation activities in both countries.

    Publication Notes

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Simmons, Cynthia S.; Walker, Robert T.; Wood, Charles H. 2002. Tree planting by small producers in the tropics: A comparative study of Brazil and Panama. Agroforestry Systems 56 :89–105


    Brazil, Land tenure, Panama, Reforestation, Small farmers, Tropical forest

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