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Can Carbon Offset Trading Promote Economic Development in Forest-Dependent and First Nations Communities?

Gerrit van Kooten

No 270681, Working Papers from University of Victoria, Resource Economics and Policy

Abstract: Forest-dependent, rural communities often experience declining populations and prosperity because technological changes related to harvesting, transportation and processing of wood fiber occur more rapidly than technical improvements in fiber availability – in forest growth. How then can communities where forest resources are the primary economic driver increase wealth that might then be used for economic development? Answers to this question are explored by examining the potential of different management regimes to create greater employment and wealth, particularly management options that include carbon values. Our application is to an interior forest region of British Columbia, the province where First Nations control the most timber supply and the region that produces the greatest volume and value of lumber for export. We examine the trade-offs between revenue as measured by net present value, employment and carbon in forest ecosystems, where the latter is a proxy for the ecological health of the forest. We conclude from the analysis that no management strategy is able to satisfy all of the technical, environmental and social/cultural constraints and, at the same time, offer forest-based economic development that will prevent the decline of rural communities. Nonetheless, given knowledge of tradeoffs, there are management options that can improve upon current employment, wealth and/or ecological health of the forest.

Keywords: Community/Rural/Urban Development; Resource /Energy Economics and Policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 24
Date: 2018-03-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr and nep-env
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ags:uvicwp:270681

DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.270681

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