Reviews -- Business in the Rain Forests: Corporations, Deforestation and Sustainability by Conrad B. MacKerron and Edited by Douglas G. Cogan

Article excerpt

Business in the Rain Forests: Corporations, Deforestation and Sustainability by Conrad B. MacKerron and Douglas G. Cogan (editor). Investor Responsibility Research Center, Washington, DC (1993), 239 pp. B/W illustrations. Paperback, ISBN 1-879775-08-5. $40.

The author of this fact-filled book has tried hard to present an objective assessment of business in the rainforest. His reasons for writing are clear: "Finding ways to preserve the rain forest and promote the development of the people who live there poses a tremendous challenge. It is one of the reasons this book was written: to highlight practices that promote sustainable development--and others that do not."

This volume is packed with information on the condition of and trends in tropical forests worldwide, and on the businesses involved in their exploitation. Country-by-country accounts of forest development's impacts on ecosystems and indigenous people are referenced to credible printed sources and personal communications. Additional and larger-scale maps would have helped track references to these far-flung corners of the world. The "Company Index" lists over 450 businesses cited in chapters on the timber industry, oil production, mining, agri-business, nontimber forest products, and ecotourism. …