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Promoting better logging practices in tropical forests

Marco Boscolo and Jeffrey Vincent ()

No 1971, Policy Research Working Paper Series from The World Bank

Abstract: The study presented in this paper tests the empirical significance of several common recommendations for promoting better logging practices in tropicalforests: in particular, making concession agreements longer, linking renewal of those agreements to logging practices, and using performance bonds to encourage compliance with logging regulations. It assesses how these recommendations affect both the economics of timber harvesting and the provision of environmental benefits. With regard to the latter it focuses on carbon sequestration and biodiversity. It also examines the effects of timber fees and discount rates on economic and environmental outcomes. The study focuses on two aspects of logger behavior: choice of logging technology and compliance with prescribed minimum diameter cutting limits. The study analyzes loggers'decisions about technology and cutting limits in two scenarios: (i) the repeated harvesting of a given forest stand (virgin forest for the initial harvest, second growth forest for subsequent harvests), which occurs at a time delay of several decades (the cutting cycle); and (ii) the sequential harvesting of an annual series of different forest stands with identical characteristics (all virgin). The former gets at issues of sustainable forest management, while the latter gets at the mining of virgin timber stocks. In this way, the study examines both the long-run and short-run dynamics of logger behavior. The paper is organized as follows. The authors begin by describing the models of forest growth and logger behavior that comprise the simulation model. The description of the forest growth model includes the indicators used to predict the environmental impacts of logging, and the description of the model of logger behavior includes the regulatory instruments analyzed. Next, they present and discuss the simulation results, dealing with repeated harvesting and sequential harvesting in turn. In the final section the report highlights the principal conclusions that can be drawn from these results.

Keywords: Forests and Forestry; Environmental Economics&Policies; Water Conservation; Silviculture; Agribusiness; Environmental Economics&Policies; Agricultural Trade; Agribusiness; Forestry; Silviculture (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1998-09-30
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