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This work focuses on the role of the state in deforestation in Algeria. The forests were severely exploited by the French in colonial times. In the wake of independence, a massive effort for reafforestation was undertaken, and had some success. In the 1970s and 1980s though, inappropriate government policies, fast-rising pressure on forest lands and administrative inefficiency led to widespread deforestation. As the country is embroiled in political turmoil, and the population is fighting for survival under increasingly difficult conditions, the concept of salvaging the forests is being completely lost from sight. At the present rate of deforestation, Algeria's forests could be totally depleted within the next few decades.
The Geographical Journal © 1994 The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers)