Fields and Forests
Since the advent of agriculture there has been an economic, social and environmental tension between man?s need for land managed in a highly controlled system for food and industrial crops, and land held in more diverse ecosystems such as forests. Globally, there has been a trend of decreasingly diverse ecosystems, i.e. toward fewer forests and more fields for almost 10,000 years. More recently, there has been a divergent trend between developing countries and developed countries in this regard. That is, forest-agricultural land uses have roughly been in balance in most developed countries (with even some recovery of forest land in some regions) while there has been a continued conversion of forest to agricultural land in many developing countries. The conversion of forests to agriculture is the number one reason for deforestation globally today.