Roots of Sustainability in the Iberian Empires: Shipbuilding and Forestry, 14th - 19th Centuries

Koldo Trápaga Monchet (Editor/Coordinator), Álvaro Aragón-Ruano, Cristina Joanaz de Melo (Editor/Coordinator)

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


This book sheds light on the roots of sustainability in the Iberian Peninsula that lie in the interrelations between shipbuilding and forestry from the 14th to the 19th centuries, combining various geographical scales (local, regional and national) and different timespans (short-term and long-term studies).

Three main themes are discussed in depth here: firstly, the roots of current conservationism in the Iberian Peninsula; the evolution of the forest policies set in motion at local, regional and national levels to meet the demand for wood and timber; and the long-standing impact of naval empirical forestry on the conservation and transformation of the forest landscape. Therefore, the book attempts, on the one hand, to unravel the forest policies and empirical forestry implemented in the Iberian Peninsula as the roots or origins of what we refer to nowadays as "sustainability", and to assess the contribution of imperial forestry to landscape planning and the conservation of forest resources, on the other, and, finally, to break away from the prevailing theological narrative that shipbuilding was the main agent of forest destruction in the early modern Iberian Peninsula, for which both quantitative and qualitative analyses will be conducted.

This book will be of key interest to environmental and social historians and researchers, and to anyone devoted to conducting research on the emergence and evolution of the concept of "sustainability" with respect to the governance and the historical transformation of woodlands around the world.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAbingdon, New York
Number of pages300
ISBN (Print)978-1-032-31337-5
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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