Timber concessions in Madre de Dios: Are they a good deal?
This study contributes to the design of public policies for the forestry sector in Madre de Dios, Peru. We developed a timber rent model that estimates optimal stumpage fees and compared three scenarios of harvestable areas access versus two harvest methods to calculate potential revenues to the State. We found that current stumpage fees undervalue timber resources and thus provide windfall profits to loggers. Annual forest revenues to the State could be increased from US$1 million to a maximum annual average of US$23.4±1.4 million over a 20-year period if the fee structure suggested from our estimations were adopted. Similarly, we show that the spatial distribution of current fees encourages timber harvesting outside of timber concessions, in particular from Brazil-nut concessions, which compete with timber concessions to supply timber to markets. Our results suggest that timber harvesting should be limited to a maximum volume of 5m3/ha inside Brazil-nut concessions and that timber harvesting in all Madre de Dios could be increased by up to ~200% over the next 20years without threatening conservation areas. This would in turn provide additional revenues to the State that could be applied to better monitoring and forest management.
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