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Revising the Environmental Kuznets Curve for Deforestation: An Empirical Study for Bulgaria

Stavros Tsiantikoudis (), Eleni Zafeiriou (), Grigorios Kyriakopoulos () and Garyfallos Arabatzis ()
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Stavros Tsiantikoudis: Department of Forestry and Management of the Environment and Natural Resources, Democritus University of Thrace, GR68200 Orestiada, Greece
Eleni Zafeiriou: Department of Agricultural Development, Democritus University of Thrace, GR68200 Orestiada, Greece
Grigorios Kyriakopoulos: School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), Division of Electric Power, GR15780 Athens, Greece
Garyfallos Arabatzis: Department of Forestry and Management of the Environment and Natural Resources, Democritus University of Thrace, GR68200 Orestiada, Greece

Sustainability, 2019, vol. 11, issue 16, 1-16

Abstract: The evolution of human societies along with efforts to enhance economic welfare may well lead to the deterioration of the environment. Deforestation is a usual process throughout evolution that poses pressing and potentially irreversible environmental risks, despite the ecological and modernization processes that aim to limit those risks. The economic growth–environmental degradation relationship—namely, the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) hypothesis—is studied in alignment with the autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) approach. The novelty of the study is attributed to the use of the carbon emissions equivalent derived by deforestation as an index for environmental degradation in Bulgaria as a new entrant into the European Union (EU). In addition, we use the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita as a proxy for income, being determined as an independent variable. Research findings cannot validate the inverted U-shape of the EKC hypothesis; instead, an inverted N pattern is confirmed. The implementation of appropriate policies aiming at the protection of the environment through the diversification of economic activities is related to the use of forest land and other resources, or related sectors (agroforestry, ecotourism activities, and scientific research), rather than only the direct utilization of forested areas; the limitation of afforestation processes and their negative impacts on citizens’ welfare are also addressed.

Keywords: environmental Kuznets curve; deforestation; ARDL with bounds test (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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