Globalization and Tropical Biodiversity Conservation:
Are They Compatible?


"..globalization represents a huge opportunity for countries at all levels of development [and is] one of the most important factors in the rise of living standards across the globe."

Renato Ruggiero, Director General of the World Trade Organization

"...if globalization is ruled merely by the laws of the market applied to suit the powerful, the consequences cannot be but negative."

Pope John Paul II, January 23, 1999.


The University of Michigan
Chapter of
International Society of Tropical Foresters

invites you to join us!

When: Monday March 29th 1999

Time: 2:00 pm

Where: Hale Auditorium, U of M Business School




Economic globalization, the integration of national economies into a single free-market based economy structured on the ideology of capitalism, has grown in acceptance, and indeed begun to seem inevitable. Some environmentalists argue that this increasing integration of the global economy is leading to a variety of environmental ills, including tropical deforestation and biodiversity loss. Free trade and the “level” economic playing field demanded by institutions like the International Monetary Fund have increased the forces leading to these problems. The need to meet multilateral loan requirements and raise cash to pay off debts from previous loans has pressured developing countries to put previously untapped old-growth timber resources on the world market and commit the best agricultural land to export crops, driving peasant farmers into forests. Supporters of globalization counter that economic integration will eventually raise international environmental standards by creating the wealth needed to pay for environmental protection. Moreover, the same institutions that support global economic integration can require appropriate environmental standards and encourage market-based voluntary conservation initiatives, such as timber certification.

Purpose of the Symposium

The effects of globalization may not be tangibly present in our daily lives, but the consequences will shape our future, both positively and negatively. We hope the symposium will help all of us to and understand the potential implications of globalization, not only on the biophysical environment, but also on the broader social and cultural environment.


To encourage a thought-provoking exchange of ideas from a range of viewpoints, our four speakers will make individual presentations, followed by a panel discussion and audience questions. Refreshments will be served during a brief intermission.

Click Here To View the Schedule

For more information contact one of the organizers: