nep-env New Economics Papers
on Environmental Economics
Issue of 2006‒07‒15
six papers chosen by
Francisco S.Ramos
Federal University of Pernambuco

  1. From Global Forest Governance To Privatised Social Forestry: Company-Community Partnerships In The Ecuadorian Choco By Laura Rival (QEH)
  2. Partnerships for Sustainable Forest Management: Lessons from the Ecuadorian Choco By Laura Rival (QEH)
  3. Ratcheting in Renewable Resources Contracting By Urs Steiner Brandt; Frank Jensen; Lars Gårn Hansen; Niels Vestergaard
  4. Actual versus Optimal Fisheries Policies: An Evaluation of the Cod Fishing Policies of Denmark, Iceland and Norway By Ragnar Arnason; Leif K. Sandal; Stein Ivar Steinshamn; Niels Vestergaard
  5. Lobbyism and Climate Change in Fisheries: A Political Support Function Approach By Urs Steiner Brandt
  6. Toward Environmental Responsibility of Thai Shrimp Farming through a Voluntary Management Scheme By Tipparat Pongthanapanich; Eva Roth

  1. By: Laura Rival (QEH)
    Abstract: Nearly 200 million hectares of topical forests were lost between 1980 and 1995, which led many conservationists to argue for a ban on all commercial logging and land conversion in tropical forest areas. Both logging companies and national governments were seen as sharing responsibility for the massive destruction of tropical rainforests, and various attempts were made to design new multilateral regimes, and new multipartite institutions for the global protection and sustainable management of key natural resources. In the 1990s, local partnerships were implemented to encourage private sector involvement in sustainable forest management and forest conservation. This paper describes a business partnership between a leading South American wood-processing group and a number of indigenous communities in one of the world's ten biodiversity 'hotspots.' It shows that the decentralisation of the development process, the recognition of local communities as legal entities in the management of natural resources, and the active involvement of profit-oriented firms in biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation, all contribute to the emergence of new alliances between government, the forestry sector, conservation and human rights organisations, and local forest communities. This case study highlights the role that private companies are able to play in changing environmentally damaging business practices, in fostering social development, and in reforming government policies. It also points to the dangers of uncritical reliance on market mechanisms to promote sustainability
  2. By: Laura Rival (QEH)
    Abstract: This paper analyses comparatively the development of two coalitions for the sustainable forest management of remaining portions of the Ecuadorian Chocó owned by indigenous communities. One coalition, a network of environmental NGOs, promotes the co-operative commercialisation of community timber and puts pressure on timber merchants to raise the price they pay to producers. The other comprises a large forestry and wood-processing group which has joint ventures with a number of indigenous communities, and which is now seeking green certification for its logging operations. Both coalitions operate locally by promoting and implementing community forestry projects, and nationally by participating in the elaboration of Ecuador's new forest law. Various activities promoted by the two coalitions are compared: land titling; local-level conservation; the building of new community institutions; local-level social development; attempts to reform wood markets; and policy reform at the national level. The paper attempts to explain why both coalitions have tended to stereotype traditional Chocoan forest dwellers according to fixed ethnic categories, while overlooking their basic economic needs, values and development aspirations. Local communities have benefited from these partnerships in terms of land titling and training, but have not seen improvements in what they value most, the adequate provision of health and education services. The paper ends with a discussion of the factors contributing to the successful building of pro-poor coalitions
  3. By: Urs Steiner Brandt (Department of Environmental and Business Economics, University of Southern Denmark); Frank Jensen (Institute of Local Government Studies, Denmark); Lars Gårn Hansen (Institute of Local Government Studies, Denmark); Niels Vestergaard (Department of Environmental and Business Economics, University of Southern Denmark)
    Abstract: Real life implies that public procurement contracting of renewable resources results in repeated interaction between a principal and the agents. The present paper analyses ratchet effects in contracting of renewable resources and how the presence of a resource constraint alters the “standard” ratchet effect result. We use a linear reward scheme to influence the incentives of the agents. It is shown that for some renewable resources we might end up both with more or with less pooling in the first-period compared to a situation without a resource constraint. The reason is that the resource constraint implies a smaller performance de-pendent bonus, which reduces the first-period cost from concealing information but at the same time the resource constraint may also imply that second-period benefits from this concealment for the efficient agent are reduced. In situations with high likelihood of first-period pooling, the appropriateness of applying lin-ear incentive schemes can be questioned.
    Keywords: Political support function, political economy, environmental regula-tion, lobbyism, rent-seeking, taxation, auction, grandfathering, emission trad-ing, European Union, interest groups, industry, consumers, environmentalists
    JEL: Q28 H2 H4
    Date: 2004–09
  4. By: Ragnar Arnason (Department of Economics, University of Iceland); Leif K. Sandal (Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration (NHH)); Stein Ivar Steinshamn (Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration (NHH)); Niels Vestergaard (Department of Environmental and Business Economics, University of Southern Denmark)
    Abstract: Many ocean fisheries are subject to a fundamental economic problem generally referred to as the common property problem. The common property problem manifests itself as excessive fishing fleets and fishing effort, depressed fish stocks and little or no profitability of the fishing activity, irrespective of the richness of the underlying marine resources. European fisheries represent some of the most dramatic examples of the common property problem. This paper employs simple empirical models and recently developed mathe-matical techniques to find optimal feed-back policies to examine the economic efficiency of three European fisheries, namely the Danish, Icelandic and Nor-wegian cod fisheries. The optimal harvesting policies for each of these fisheries are calculated. Comparing these optimal policies with actual harvests provides a measure of the relative efficiency in these three cod fisheries. The comparison confirms that the cod harvesting policies of these three coun-tries have been hugely inefficient in the past. Moreover, it appears that the inef-ficiency has been increasing over time. Only, during the last few years of our data are there indications that this downward trend may have been halted. This comparative improvement, slight as it is, may reflect the impact of a more re-strictive fisheries policy since the early 1990s.
    Date: 2005–01
  5. By: Urs Steiner Brandt (Department of Environmental and Business Economics, University of Southern Denmark)
    Abstract: This paper seeks to investigate the following issues: What is the resulting out-come, when regulation is determined by interest groups that compete for influ-ence over the regulatory process? Given this, can we predict how climate change related changes in the underlying biological factors will affect the be-haviour of the interest groups and the resulting regulatory outcome.
    Date: 2005–03
  6. By: Tipparat Pongthanapanich (Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Faculty of Economics, Kasetsart University); Eva Roth (Department of Environmental and Business Economics, University of Southern Denmark)
    Abstract: The implementation of voluntary adoption of the Code of Conduct (CoC) to promote environmental responsibility and sustainable development of Thai shrimp industry is examined. Farmers’ perceived- benefits, risks and uncertain-ties associated with the adoption and their perceived extra fixed cost are found to be the critical conditions to the success of the program. Improvement of farmers’ perception through increased information and knowledge, develop-ment of supportive policies and mechanisms (i.e. a “Group CoC” system, insur-ance program, a combination of environmental policy approaches) and strengthening farmer organizations and networks among and between the play-ers throughout the market chain are suggested as to enhance the adoption and implementation of the scheme.
    Keywords: Thai Shrimp, Coastal Land Environment, Voluntary Approach, Code of Conduct
    JEL: Q22 Q24 Q55
    Date: 2006–03

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