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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Socioeconomic and environmental impacts of forest concessions in Brazil: A computable general equilibrium analysis
by Banerjee, Onil, Ph.D., University of Florida, 2008, 216; 3381469
Abstract (Summary)

Understanding the forces that drove policy in the past can inform our expectations of the effectiveness of policy implementation today. Historical analysis suggests that forest policies of countries with significant forested frontiers transition through stages reflecting the orientation of governments toward economic development on the frontiers, namely: settlement, protective custody and management. With respect to Amazonian forests, Brazil's path is no exception from this trend. This dissertation begins by following the trajectory of forest policy in Brazil to identify its path through the stages of policy development.

Brazil is on the cusp of a transition toward the management phase of policy development. As such, the question of whether this phase will represent a break from the historical tendency of largely ineffectual forest policy is addressed. For society to accept and support a forest policy, it should generate positive socio-economic and environmental benefits. Brazil's Public Forest Management Law (2006) and specifically the socioeconomic and environmental impacts of implementing forest concessions, are taken as a proximate indicators of whether the transition to management will in fact increase the relevance of forest policy. To evaluate these impacts, two quantitative experiments are conducted. In the first, a static computable general equilibrium model is developed to evaluate the short-run policy effect on welfare, the forestry sector and levels of legal deforestation.

Given the economic importance of illegal logging and illegal deforestation in Brazil, the second experiment explicitly models these sectors. A recursive dynamic computable general equilibrium modeling framework is employed to consider the medium-term implications of the policy, to shed light on the resulting economic transition path, and to assess the short-term costs and longer-term gains resulting from policy implementation. Results of this analysis can provide important insights on forest sector and deforestation dynamics to policy makers, industry and civil society such that complimentary policies and programs may be developed to maximize benefits and minimize any negative impacts resulting from the implementation of forest concessions.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Alavalapati, Janaki
School: University of Florida
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 70/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Environmental management, Forestry, Agricultural economics
Keywords: Brazil, Computable general equilibrium, Deforestation, Dynamic modeling, Environmental impacts, Forest concessions, Forest policy
Publication Number: 3381469
ISBN: 978-1-109-45711-7
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