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Central America is characterized by an asymmetric forest transition in which net deforestation is a product of both forest loss and patches of forest resurgence. Forest loss is also associated with rights violations. We explore the extent to which extractive industry and infrastructure investments create pressure on forest resources, community rights and livelihoods. Drivers of this investment are identified, in particular: constitutional, legislative and regulatory reforms; energy policies; new financial flows; and ideas of development emphasizing the centrality of infrastructure in combining geographical integration and economic growth. We discuss forms of contentious action that have emerged in response to these pressures, asking how far and in what ways this contention has elicited changes in the policies that govern investment and extractive industry, and how far such changes might reduce pressure on Central America's remaining forest cover. The paper develops a conceptual framework for analysing relationships among contention, policy change and the resilience of policy changes.

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European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies

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


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