The impact of trade and macroeconomic policies on frontier deforestation uri icon

abstract

  • In this slide series we will look how different changes related to trade and macroeconomic policies affect the loss of frontier forests, i.e. to understand both the likely direction and weight of these factors in influencing the speed of forest conversion; We will try to comprehend trade-offs and synergies between policies for natural-forest conservation and those designed to promote economic development. In this view an economic perspective is taken on deforestation
  • The purpose of this lecture note is to summarise different research results about theimpact of macro-level factors and “extra-sectoral” policies on tropical forest cover.Specifically, we are interested in the forest margins – i.e. the spatial transition zonebetween tropical forests and converted land uses. What are the policy factors thataccelerate frontier expansion, and which ones tend to slow it down? The mainobjectives are: a. To learn how different changes related to trade and macroeconomicpolicies affect the loss of frontier forests, i.e. to understand both the likely directionand weight of these factors in influencing the speed of forest conversion; b. Tocomprehend trade-offs and synergies between policies for natural-forest conservationand those designed to promote economic development; c. To appreciate these linkagesin the light of a few micro- and macro-level examples. A key finding is that whathappens to tropical forests is more determined by events outside the forest arena thanby what happens inside the forest sector. In other words, the extra-sectoral impactswill often be more important than, for instance, the new forest law, the participatory treeplanting project or the environmental education programme that is implemented at theforest margins. That does not necessarily mean that forestry interventions are noteffective. What it does mean is that some macroeconomic and extra-forestry factorstend to set the scene for success or failure of the projects and strategies of forestmargin stabilisation, so that the promoters of these strategies need to have a realisticvision about the direction and proportions of impacts. In some cases, the macrodecision makers should also explicitly take into account how forests are affected beforethey make their “extra-sectoral”, macro-level choices

publication date

  • 2003
  • 2003