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Lack of association between deforestation and either sustainability commitments or fines in private concessions in the Peruvian Amazon

Christa M. Anderson, Gregory P. Asner and Eric F. Lambin

Forest Policy and Economics, 2019, vol. 104, issue C, 1-8

Abstract: A variety of policy interventions from public authorities and private companies attempt to reduce deforestation in private forest concessions. These include fines for illegal deforestation and market incentives for forest management practices that meet sustainability standards. While some studies have found significant differences in forest outcomes between concessions that participate in sustainability commitments and those that do not, others have found small or inconclusive differences. We contribute to this literature by examining all privately allocated concessions in the Peruvian Amazon to determine whether sustainability commitments correspond with lower deforestation rates. Conversely, we examine whether fines correspond with higher deforestation rates, a question for which fewer analyses have been published. Using matching methods, we do not find significantly different deforestation rates between control groups and logging concessions with third party environmental certification. We also do not see significant differences in deforestation rates in petroleum concessions managed by companies who have made sustainability commitments. Regarding punitive fines, we do not find significant differences in deforestation rates between control groups and logging concessions with fines levied. The same holds true for fines levied in brazil nut concessions. Potential explanations for these findings include insufficient monitoring or inadequate stringency for sustainability commitments, and insufficiently punitive fines or low enforcement levels.

Keywords: Forest policy; Deforestation; Sustainability commitment; Certification; Peru; Amazon (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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