Payments for environmental services as an alternative to logging under weak property rights: The case of Indonesia
Decentralization reforms in Indonesia have led to local communities negotiating logging agreements with timber companies for relatively low financial payoffs and at high environmental cost. This paper analyzes the potential of payments for environmental services (PES) to provide an alternative to logging for these communities and to induce forest conservation. We apply a game-theoretical model of community-firm interactions that explicitly considers two stylized conditions present in the Indonesian context: (i) community rights to the forest remain weak even after decentralization, and (ii) the presence of logging companies interested in the commercial exploitation of the forest. Intuition may suggest that PES design should focus on those communities with the lowest expected payments from logging deals. However, we show that these communities may not be able to enforce a PES agreement, i.e., they may not be able to prevent logging activities by timber companies. Moreover, some communities would conserve the forest anyway; in these cases PES would not lead to additional environmental gains. Most important, the introduction of PES may increase a community's expected payoff from a logging agreement. A failure to consider this endogeneity in expected payoffs could lead to communities opting for logging agreements despite PES, simply allowing communities to negotiate better logging deals. Our results indicate that PES design is a complex task, and that the costs of an effective PES system could potentially be much higher than expected from observing current logging fees. Using data collected in Indonesia on actual logging fees received by communities, we illustrate how the theoretical results could be used in empirical analysis to guide PES design. Our results are likely to be useful in other cases where local people make resource use decisions but have weak property rights over these resources, and where external commercial forces are present. The results highlight the importance of understanding the details of the local context in order to design PES programs appropriately.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Engel, Stefanie & Palmer, Charles, 2006. "Who owns the right? The determinants of community benefits from logging in Indonesia," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 434-446, June.
- Arild Angelsen, 2001. "Playing Games in the Forest: State-Local Conflicts of Land Appropriation," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 77(2), pages 285-299.
- Engel, Stefanie & López, Ramón, 2008.
"Exploiting common resources with capital-intensive technologies: the role of external forces,"
Environment and Development Economics,
Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(05), pages 565-589, October.
- Engel, Stefanie & Lopez, Ramon E., 2004. "Exploiting Common Resources with Capital-Intensive Technologies: The Role of External Forces," Discussion Papers 18720, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
- Alston, Lee J. & Libecap, Gary D. & Mueller, Bernardo, 1999. "A model of rural conflict: violence and land reform policy in Brazil," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(02), pages 135-160, May.
- Peter Burton, 2004. "Hugging Trees: Claiming de Facto Property Rights by Blockading Resource Use," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 27(2), pages 135-163, February.
- Siikamäki, Juha & Layton, David F., 2006. "Potential Cost-Effectiveness of Incentive Payment Programs for Biological Conservation," Discussion Papers dp-06-27, Resources For the Future.
- Bose, Pinaki, 1998. "Formal-informal sector interaction in rural credit markets," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 265-280, August.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:65:y:2008:i:4:p:799-809. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.