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New Studies Suggest Deforestation Collapsed Mayan Civilization

24th August 2012

Two studies published this week are using archaeological evidence and environmental data to understand the reasons behind the collapse of Mayan Civilization.

The studies tested the theory that drought was responsible for the demise of the Mayans and found that rapid deforestation from unsustainable development exacerbated an already severe drought. The Mayan’s were rapidly clearing their forests to make way for agricultural production. As well, the material they used to create their iconic structures required up to 20 trees to produce just one square meter.

This severe deforestation caused precipitation to reduce and lead to 60 percent of the total drying that occurred during the collapse of the Mayans. The lack of forest cover also contributed to soil erosion and soil depletion. This rapid environmental damage turned their productive society into one that was unable to support them any longer.

As a current global issue, deforestation is continuing to cause widespread damage around the world. EcoPlanet Bamboo conserves and where possible expands natural forest within our areas of operations, and works closely with local communities to maintain a strong focus on sustainable environmental and social development.

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