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From Floods to Reforestation: The Forest Transition in Switzerland

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The forest area in Switzerland has been expanding for more than one hundred years, after a long period of contraction culminating in an apparently accelerated phase of deforestation in the first half of the 19th century. The nature and causes of this transition from net deforestation to net reforestation are considered. It is concluded that the perception of a resource crisis played a key role, but also that various passive factors facilitated an end of deforestation and the beginning of reforestation. The question of the comparability of the Swiss case to that of modern developing countries currently experiencing rapid deforestation is considered.

Keywords: Switzerland; deforestation; forest sustainability; forest transition; reforestation; resource crisis

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2000

More about this publication?
  • Environment and History is an interdisciplinary journal which aims to bring scholars in the humanities and biological sciences closer together, with the deliberate intention of constructing long and well-founded perspectives on present day environmental problems.

    Environment and History has an impact factor (2014) of 0.778.
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