Do China’s Environmental Gains at Home Fuel Forest Loss Abroad?: A Cross-National Analysis

John M Shandra, Michael Restivo, Jamie M Sommer

Abstract


The theory and empirical research on ecologically unequal exchange serves as the starting point for this study. We expand the research frontier it in a novel way by applying the theory to China and empirically testing if forestry export flows from low-and middle-income nations to China  are related to increased forest loss in the exporting nations. In doing so, we analyze data for 75 low-and middle-income nations using ordinary least squares regression and find support for our main hypothesis.


Keywords


China; Ecologically unequal exchange; Forest loss

Full Text:

PDF

References


Alden, Chris and Ana Cristina Alves. 2009. “China and Africa’s Natural Resources: The Challenges and Implications for Development and Governance.” Occasional Paper no. 41, South African Institute of International Affairs, Johannesburg.

Amin, Samir. 1974. “Accumulation on a world scale.” Monthly Review Press.

Austin, Kelly F. 2010a. “Soybean Exports and Deforestation from a World-Systems Perspective: A Cross-National Investigation of Comparative Disadvantage.” The Sociological Quarterly 51(3): 511-536.

______. 2010b. “The ‘Hamburger Connection’ as Ecologically Unequal Exchange: A Cross- National Investigation of Beef Exports and Deforestation in Less-Developed Countries.” Rural Sociology 75(2): 270–99.

______. 2012. “Coffee Exports as Ecological, Social, and Physical Unequal Exchange: A Cross-National Investigation of the Java Trade.” International Journal of Comparative Sociology 53(3): 155–80.

Bernasconi-Osterwalder, Aaron Cosbey, Lise Johnson and Damon Vis-Dunbar. 2012. Investment Treaties and Why They Matter to Sustainable Development. Questions and Answers. Winnipeg, CA: International Institute for Sustainable Development.

Bräutigam, Deborah A. and Tang Xiaoyang. 2009. “China's engagement in African agriculture: ‘Down to the countryside’.” The China Quarterly 199: 686-706.

Bryant, Rayond L. and Sinead Bailey. 1997. Third world political ecology. London: Routledge.

Bunker, Stephen G. 1985. Underdeveloping the Amazon: Extraction, Unequal Exchange, and the Failure of the Modern State. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Burns, Thomas J., Edward L. Kick, Byron L. Davis. 2003. “Theorizing and Rethinking Linkages between the Natural Environment and the Modern World-System: Deforestation in the Late 20th Century.” Journal of World-Systems Research: 357–92.

Chen, Jie. 2007. “Rapid urbanization in China: a real challenge to soil protection and food security.” Catena 69(1): 1-15.

Ciplet, David and J. Timmons Roberts. 2019. “Splintering south: Ecologically unequal exchange theory in a fragmented global climate.” Journal of World-Systems Research 23(2): 372-398.

Clausen, Rebecca and Richard York. 2008. “Global biodiversity decline of marine and freshwater fish: a cross-national analysis of economic, demographic, and ecological influences.” Social Science Research 37: 1310-1320.

Coppedge, Michael, John Gerring, Staffan I. Lindberg, Svend-Erik Skaaning, Jan Teorell, Joshua Krusell, Kyle L. Marquardt, Valeriya Mechkova, Daniel Pemstein, Josefine Pernes, Laura Saxer, Natalia Stepanova, Eitan Tzelgov, Yi-ting Wang and Steven Wilson. 2017. “V-Dem Methodology v7.1.” Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) Project.V-Dem Institute, University of Gothenburg and Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies, University of Notre Dame. Gothenburg, Sweden and Notre Dame, IN.

Dahlberg, Stefan, Sören Holmberg, Bo Rothstein, Natalia Alvarado Pachon and Richard Svensson. 2019. The Quality of Government Basic Dataset, version January 19. University of Gothenburg: The Quality of Government Institute. Gothenburg, Sweden.

Dauvergne, Peter and Jennifer Clapp. 2005. Paths to a Green World: The Political Economy of the Global Environment. Cambridge, MA: MIT press.

Dick, Christopher. 2010. "Do environmental characteristics influence foreign direct investment growth? A cross-national study, 1990-2000." International Journal of Comparative Sociology 51(3): 192-210.

Dietz, Thomas, R. Scott Frey and Linda Kalof. 1987. "Estimation with cross-national data: robust and nonparametric methods." American Sociological Review 52(3): 380-390.

Downey, Liam, Eric Bonds and Katherine Clark. 2010. "Natural resource extraction, armed violence, and environmental degradation." Organization & Environment 23(4): 417-445.

Dunaway, Wilma A. and Donald A. Clelland. 2017. "Moving toward Theory for the 21st Century: The Centrality of Nonwestern Semiperipheries to World Ethnic/Racial Inequality." Journal of World-Systems Research 23(2): 399-464.

Economy, Elizabeth C. 2010. The River Runs Black: the Environmental Challenge to China's Future. New York: Cornell University Press.

Ehrhardt-Martinez, Karen. 1998. "Social determinants of deforestation in developing countries: A cross-national study." Social Forces 77(2): 567-586.

Ehrhardt‐Martinez, Karen, Edward M. Crenshaw and J. Craig Jenkins. 2002. "Deforestation and the environmental Kuznets curve: A cross‐national investigation of intervening mechanisms." Social Science Quarterly 83(1): 226-243.

Feng, Kuishuang and Klaus Hubacek. 2015. "A multi-region input–output analysis of global virtual water flows." Pp. 225-246 in Handbook of research methods and applications in environmental studies edited by, Matthias Ruth. Northampton, MA: Edward Elger Publishing.

Fischer-Kowalski, Marina and Christof Amann. 2001. "Beyond IPAT and Kuznets curves: Globalization as a vital factor in analysing the environmental impact of socio-economic metabolism." Population and Environment 23(1): 7-47.

Food and Agriculture Organization. 2015. Global Forest Resources Assessment 2015. Food and Agriculture Organization Forestry Paper. Rome: United Nations.

Frame, Mariko., 2019. The role of the semi-periphery in ecologically unequal exchange: A case study of land investments in Cambodia. Pp. 75-106 in Ecologically Unequal Exchange edited by,

R. Frey, Gellert P. and Dahms H. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham

Frank, Andre Gunder. 1967. Capitalism and Underdevelopment in Latin America. Vol. 93, New York: NYU Press.

Frey, Scott R. 2012. "The e-waste stream in the world-system." Journal of Globalization Studies 3(1): 79-94.

Gellert, Paul K. 2005. “Oligarchy in the Timber Markets of Indonesia: From Apkindo to IBRA to the Future of the Forests.” Pp. 137-153 in The Politics and Economics of Indonesia's Natural Resources edited by, B.P. Resosudarmo, Singapore: Institute of South East Asian Studies.

Gellert, Paul K., R. Scott Frey and Harry F. Dahms. 2017. "Introduction to ecologically unequal exchange in comparative perspective." Journal of World-Systems Research 23(2): 226-235.

Giljum, Stefan and Nina Eisenmenger. 2004. “North-South trade and the distribution of environmental goods and burdens: a biophysical perspective.” The Journal of Environment & Development 13(1): 73-100.

Grainger, Alan. 2008. “Difficulties in tracking the long-term global trend in tropical forest area.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105(2): 818-823.

Hansen, Mathew C., Stephen V. Stehman, and Peter V. Potapov. 2010. “Quantification of global gross forest cover loss.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107(19): 8650-8655.

Henderson, Kent and Kristen Shorette. 2017. “Environmentalism in the Periphery: Institutional Embeddedness and Deforestation among Fifteen Palm Oil Producers, 1990–2012.” Journal of World-Systems Research 23(2): 269-97.

Hornborg, Alf. 2003. “The unequal exchange of time and space: Toward a non-normative ecological theory of exploitation.” Journal of Ecological Anthropology 7(1): 4-10.

Hu, Tao. 2013. “A Look at China's New Environmental Guidelines on Overseas Investments.” Washington, D.C: World Resources Institute.

Huang, Xiaorui. 2018. “Ecologically unequal exchange, recessions, and climate change: A longitudinal study.” Social Science Research 73: 1-12.

Jorgenson, Andrew K. 2006. “Unequal Ecological Exchange and Environmental Degradation: A Theoretical Proposition and Cross-National Study of Deforestation, 1990–2000.” Rural Sociology 71(4): 685–712.

______. 2009. “Foreign direct investment and the environment, the mitigating influence of institutional and civil society factors, and relationships between industrial pollution and human health: A panel study of less-developed countries.” Organization & Environment 22(2): 135-57.

______. 2016. “Environment, Development, and Ecologically Unequal Exchange.” Sustainability 8(3): 227.

Jorgenson, Andrew K. and James Rice. 2005. “Structural dynamics of international trade and material consumption: A cross-national study of the ecological footprints of less-developed countries.” Journal of World-Systems Research 11(1): 57-77.

Jorgenson, Andrew K., Christopher Dick, and Kelly Austin. 2010. “The vertical flow of primary sector exports and deforestation in less-developed countries: A test of ecologically unequal exchange theory.” Society and Natural Resources 23(9): 888-897.

Kahrl, Fredrich, David Roland-Holst, and David Zilberman. 2013. “Past as Prologue? Understanding energy use in post-2002 China.” Energy Economics 36: 759-771.

Keck, Margaret E. and Kathryn Sikkink. 1998. “Transnational advocacy networks in the movement society.” Pp. 217-238 in The Social Movement Society: Contentious Politics for a New Century edited by, D.S. Meyer and S.G. Tarrow, New York: Rowman & Littlefield.

Kittilaksanawong, Wiboon and Weiqi Dai. 2016. “Chinese Outward Foreign Direct Investment in Africa: Political Economy, Aid, and Bargaining Power.” Pp. 246-260 in Comparative Political and Economic Perspectives on the MENA Region edited by M.M. Erdogdu and B. Chrsitiansen, PA: IGI Global.

Koyuncu, Cuneyt and Rasim Yilmaz. 2009. “The Impact of Corruption on Deforestation: A Cross-Country Evidence.” The Journal of Developing Areas 42(2): 213–222.

Lenzen, Manfred, Daniel Moran, Anik Bhaduri, Keiichiro Kanemoto, Maksud Bekchanov, Arne Geschke, and Barney Foran. 2013. "International trade of scarce water." Ecological Economics 94: 78-85.

Lenzen, Manfred, Joy Murray, Fabian Sack, and Thomas Wiedmann. 2007. "Shared producer and consumer responsibility—Theory and practice." Ecological Economics 61(1): 27-42.

Lewis, Tammy L. 2003. “Environmental aid: Driven by recipient need or donor interests?” Social Science Quarterly 84(1): 144-161.

Li, Bo and Yaxin Yan. 2016. “How Does China’s Growing Overseas Investment Affect Africa’s Forests? 5 Things to Know.” World Resources Institute. Washington, D.C.

Li, Quan and Rafael Reuveny. 2006. “Democracy and environmental degradation.” International Studies Quarterly 50(4): 935-956.

Marquart-Pyatt, Sandra. 2004. “A cross-national investigation of deforestation, debt, state fiscal capacity, and the environmental Kuznets Curve.” International Journal of Sociology 34(1): 33-51.

Mayer Maximillian. 2018. “China’s Rise as Eurasian Power: The Revival of the Silk Road and Its Consequences.” Pp. 1-42 in Rethinking the Silk Road edited by M. Maximillian, Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan.

McMichael, Philip. 2004. Development and Social Change: A Global Perspective. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.

Mol, Arthur P. 2011. “China's ascent and Africa's environment.” Global Environmental Change 21(3): 785-794.

Muradian, Roldan and Joan Martinez-Alier. 2001. “Trade and the environment: from a ‘Southern’ perspective.” Ecological Economics 36(2): 281-297.

Noble, Mark D. 2017. “Chocolate and the Consumption of Forests: A Cross-National Examination of Ecologically Unequal Exchange in Cocoa Exports.” Journal of World-Systems Research 23(2): 236-68.

Prell, Christina, Kuishuang Feng, Laixiang Sun, Martha Geores, and Klaus Hubacek. 2014. “The economic gains and environmental losses of US consumption: a world-systems and input-output approach.” Social Forces 93(1): 405-428.

Rice, James. 2007. “Ecological unequal exchange: international trade and uneven utilization of environmental space in the world system.” Social Forces 85(3): 1369-92.

Rich, Bruce. 1994. Mortgaging the Earth. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

Roberts, Timmons J. and Bradley C. Parks. 2007. “Fueling injustice: globalization, ecologically unequal exchange and climate change.” Globalizations 4(2): 193-210.

Rudel, Thomas K. 1989. “Population, Development, and Tropical Deforestation: A Cross-National Study.” Rural Sociology 54(3): 327–38.

______. 2017. “The Dynamics of Deforestation in the Wet and Dry Tropics: A Comparison with Policy Implications.” Forests 8(4): 108.

Rudel, Thomas K. and Jill Roper. 1997. “The paths to rain forest destruction: cross-national patterns of tropical deforestation, 1975–1990.” World Development 25(1): 53-65.

Schofer, Evan and Ann Hironaka. 2005. “The Effects of World Society on Environmental Protection Outcomes.” Social Forces 84(1): 25–47.

Schwartzman, Kathleen C. 2018. “Will China’s Development lead to Mexico’s Underdevelopment?” Journal of World-Systems Research 21(1): 106-123.

Shandra, John M. 2007. “Economic dependency, repression, and deforestation: a quantitative, cross‐national analysis.” Sociological Inquiry 77(4): 543-571.

Shandra, John M., Christopher Leckband, Laura A. McKinney, Bruce London. 2009. “Ecologically unequal exchange, world polity, and biodiversity loss: A cross-national analysis of threatened mammals.” International Journal of Comparative Sociology 50(3-4): 285-310.

Shandra, John M., Heidi Rademacher, and Carolyn Coburn. 2016. “The World Bank and organized hypocrisy? A cross-national analysis of structural adjustment and forest loss.” Environmental Sociology 2(2): 192-207.

Shandra, John M., Christopher Leckband, and Bruce London. 2009. “Ecologically unequal exchange and deforestation: A cross-national analysis of forestry export flows.” Organization & Environment 22(3): 293-310.

Siddiqui, Kalim. 2016. “Will the Growth of the BRICs Cause a Shift in the Global Balance of Economic Power in the 21st Century?” International Journal of Political Economy 45(4): 315-338.

Smaller, Carin, Qiu Wei, and Liu Yalan. 2012. Farmland and Water: China Invests Abroad. Winnipeg, CA: International Institute for Sustainable Development.

Smith, Jackie and Dawn Wiest. 2005. “The Uneven Geography of Global Civil Society: National and Global Influences on Transnational Association.” Social Forces 84(2): 621–52.

Sommer, Jamie M. 2017. “Grand and petty corruption: a cross-national analysis of forest loss in low-and middle-income nations.” Environmental Sociology 3(4): 414-426.

Sommer, Jamie M., John M. Shandra, and Michael Restivo. 2017. “The World Bank, contradictory lending, and forests: A cross-national analysis of organized hypocrisy.” International Sociology 32(6): 707-730.

Stretesky, Paul B. and Michael J. Lynch. 2009. “A cross-national study of the association between per capita carbon dioxide emissions and exports to the United States.” Social Science Research 38(1): 239-250.

Sun, Xiufang, Peng Ren, and Marissa Van Epp. 2014. Chinese views of African forests: Evidence and Perception of China-Africa Links that Impact the Governance of Forests and Livelihoods. London, UK: IIED, London.

Swamy, Raja. 2017. “Humanitarianism and unequal exchange.” Journal of World System Research 23(2): 353-371.

Tabachnick, Barbara G. and Linda S. Fidell. 2013. Using Multivariate Statistics, 6th ed. Boston, MA: Pearson.

Treanor, Naomi B. 2015. China's Hongmu Consumption Boom: Analysis of the Chinese Rosewood Trade and Links to Illegal Activity in Tropical Forested Countries. Washington, DC: Forest Trends/UKAid.

Tukey, John W. 1977. Exploratory Data Analysis (Vol. 2). London, UK: Pearson.

United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database. 2017. UN Comtrade. Vienna, AT: United Nations.

Vanhanen, Tatu. 2014. Global Inequality as a Consequence of Human Diversity. London, UK: Ulster Institute for Social Research.

Viña, Andrés, William J. McConnell, Hongbo Yang, Zhenci Xu, and Jianguo Liu. 2016. "Effects of conservation policy on China’s forest recovery." Science Advances 2(3): e1500965.

World Bank. 2016. World Development Indicators. Washington, DC: World Bank.

World Resources Institute. 2016. World Resources Institute Global Forest Watch. Washington,

DC: World Resources Institute.

World Wildlife Fund. 2018. WWF advisory to buyers and investors of the Sinar Mas Group/Asia Pulp & Paper (SMG/APP). Indonesia, Sumatra: WWF - World Wide Fund for Nature.

Yin, B. 2018. Paradise Lost: How China can help the Solomon Islands Protect its Forests. Washington, DC: Global Witness.

York, Richard, Eugene Rosa, and Thomas Dietz. 2003. “Footprints on the earth: The environmental consequences of modernity.” American Sociological Review 68: 279-300.

Yu, Yang, Kuishuang Feng, and Klaus Hubacek. 2014. "China's unequal ecological exchange." Ecological indicators 47: 156-163.

Yu, Yang, Kuishuang Feng, Klaus Hubacek, and Laixiang Sun. 2016. "Global implications of China's future food consumption." Journal of Industrial Ecology 20(3): 593-602.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jwsr.2019.761

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Copyright (c) 2019 John M Shandra

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.