HHH Students Examine Mesoamerican Deforestation Induced By Cattle Ranching

Humphrey school students Lily Osborne (MDP)Shai Fogelson (MS-STEP), Nfamara K Dampha (MDP) and Audel Shokohzadeh (MPP) prepared a report for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) on the effects of the cattle ranching industry on deforestation in three Mesoamerican countries: Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Honduras. The team conducted background research and communicated with the WCS staff to gain a firm understanding of the impact of this industry. Based on their findings, the team concluded that deforestation in this region would continue to grow without better regulation of cattle ranching.  Recommendations were put forth with the understanding that WCS has the ability to directly engage with stakeholders in the cattle ranching industry and facilitate change in behavior and practice. In an effort to target three key pressure points, these recommendations addressed issues relating to social and behavioral norms, the cattle industry itself, as well as governmental bodies at the local, regional, and national level. This report will be utilized by the WCS going forward in their ongoing conservation efforts in Mesoamerica.
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