Quantifying Sustainable Development

The Future of Tropical Economies

Edited By

  • Charles Hall, Sate University of New York, Syracuse, U.S.A.
  • Patrick Van Laake, Proyecto MAG/FAO, San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Carlos Perez, Ministero de Agricultura, San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Gregoire Leclerc, Laboratorio de Analisis Geografico, CATIE, Turrialba, Costa Rica


Landscape ecologists; macroeconomists; resource economists; policy analysts concerned with third-world development issues; agronomists interested in third-world agricultural issues; and GIS developers.


Book information

  • Published: June 2000
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-318860-1


"Hall et al. look behind the financial symbols of development to produce a critically needed empirical framework for integrating economic theory with biophysical realities." --Herman E. Daly, University of Maryland, School of Public Affairs "The modeling system summarized in this book is simple ... I recommend this book to all readers of this journal." ECOLOGICAL ECONOMICS "I strongly recommend the book to economists, ecologists, geographers, agriculturists, biologists, engineers, agronomists, and others interested in development and preservation of environmental integrity ..." --David Pimentel, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, BIOSCIENCE, January 2001, Vol. 51, No. 1 "Includes a CD packed with images, data, and software, allowing the user to explore and adapt the GIS-based simulation model." --Tom Richard, Journal of Industrial Ecology

Table of Contents

ContributorsForeword by Lester C. ThurowPrefaceSection I: Introduction: The Tropics-Paradise Imperiled?1. The Changing Tropics2. A Brief Historical and Visual Introduction to Costa RicaSection II: Development and Sustainability3. The Theories and Myths that Have Guided Development4. Data on Sustainability in Costa Rica: Time Series Analysis of Population, Land Use, Economics, Energy, and Efficiency5. Land, Energy, and Agricultural Production in Costa RicaSection III: Adding a Spatial Dimension: Tools for Dynamic Geographical Analysis6. The Derivation and Analysis of National-Level Geographical Information: A New Model for Accessibility and an Easy-to-Use Micro GIS Program7. Geographical Modeling: The Synthesis of a GIS and Simulation ModelingSection IV: Building a Geographical Database for Costa Rica8. Developing a Nationwide Topographical Database9. Synthesis of Costa Rican Meteorological Information in a Geographical Context10. Properties, Geographic Distribution, and Management of Major Soil Orders of Costa Rica11. Remote Sensing and Land Use Analysis for Agriculture in Costa RicaSection V: Application to Sustainability Issues for Costa Rica's Natural Resources12. Temporal and Spatial Overview of Costa Rican Agricultural Production13. Biophysical Agricultural Assessment and Management Models for Developing Countries14. Geographical Synthesis of Data on Costa Rican Pastures and Their Potential for Improvement15. The Extent and Economic Impacts of Soil Erosion in Costa Rica16. Land Use and Cover Change in Costa Rica: A Geographic Perspective17. Gradient Analysis of Biomass in Costa Rica and a First Estimate of Countrywide Emissions of Greenhouse Gases from Biomass Burning18. Forestry in Costa Rica and an Estimate of Energy Potentially Available from Forests19. Assessing the Role of Parks for Protecting Forest Resources Using GIS and Spatial ModelingSection VI: Biophysical Analysis of Major Components of the Economy20. The Costa Rican Banana Industry: Can It Be Sustainable?21. The Costa Rican Coffee Industry22. Costa Rican Industry: Characteristics, History, and Potential for Sustainability23. The Internationalization of the Costa Rican Economy: A Two-Edged Sword.24. An Assessment of the Effectiveness of Structural Adjustment Policies in Costa Rica25. Comparative Estimates of Sustainability: Economic, Resource Base, Ecological Footprint, and Energy26. The Myth of Sustainable DevelopmentAppendix I: Low Cost MapmakingAppendix II: A Free Micro GIS ProgramSupplement: CD-ROM of Pictures, Programs and Data