One would like to think that governments exist to take care of the public good and that ensuring fairness in access to opportunities and resources for all their citizens, present and future, would be their fundamental role. But in so many of the forest-rich countries of the tropics, this has not been the case. Rather than holding forests in trust for the nation, many government officials have usurped rights to the forest for their personal enrichment. Forests have not been just victims of corruption, they have also fueled it. Economic growth, expansion of trade, and the availability of bigger machines for logging and clearing tropical forests have combined to provide irresistible opportunities for those in power. In many countries, the ...

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