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Depletion of forest resources in Sudan: Intervention options for optimal control

Listed author(s):
  • Hassan, Rashid
  • Hertzler, Greg
  • Benhin, James K.A.

Agricultural expansion and over-cutting of trees for fuelwood are important causes of deforestation in arid and semi-arid countries such as Sudan. The consequence is increased desertification and high erosion and loss of soil nutrients leading to declining agricultural productivity. However, the social costs of the deforestation externality are not taken into account in present forest management and land use planning in Sudan leading to under-pricing and over-exploitation of the country's forest resources. This study evaluated the suitability of approaches commonly used by most forest resource management agencies for prediction of the state and control of harvesting of forest resources against alternative empirical simulation models using relevant information about economic behaviour of trading agents in the fuelwood market. Results showed the clear superiority of models integrating market behaviour over current approaches in the ability to better simulate real trends of wood consumption and hence depletion rates. The study also adopted an optimal control model to derive socially optimal forest harvesting regimes. The results showed that current rates of forest resource rent recovery and reforestation efforts are very far from optimal. Results also suggest that, in addition to optimal pricing and higher reforestation efforts, promotion and availability of fuel substitutes and investment in wood energy conversion efficiencies have a strong potential for curbing the problem of deforestation in Sudan.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

Volume (Year): 37 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (April)
Pages: 1195-1203

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Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:37:y:2009:i:4:p:1195-1203
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  1. Barton, J.R. & Hertzler, Greg & Hassan, Rashid M., 1991. "Deforestation and the External Costs Imposed on Agriculture in Sudan," 1991 Conference (35th), February 11-14, 1991, Armidale, Australia 145726, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  2. Vincent, Jeffrey R, 1999. "Net Accumulation of Timber Resources," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 45(2), pages 251-262, June.
  3. Angelsen, Arild & Kaimowitz, David, 1999. "Rethinking the Causes of Deforestation: Lessons from Economic Models," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 14(1), pages 73-98, February.
  4. C M Dufournaud & J T Quinn & J J Harrington & C C Yu & P Abeygumawardena & R Franzosa, 1995. "A Model of Sustainable Extraction of Nontimber Forest Products in Subsistence Societies," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 27(10), pages 1667-1676, October.
  5. Elnagheeb, Abdelmoneim H. & Bromley, Daniel W., 1994. "Extensification of agriculture and deforestation: Empirical evidence from Sudan," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 10(2), pages 193-200, April.
  6. Hassan, Rashid M. & Hertzler, Greg, 1988. "Deforestation from the overexploitation of wood resources as a cooking fuel : A dynamic approach to pricing energy resources in Sudan," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 163-168, April.
  7. C M Dufournaud & J T Quinn & J J Harrington & C C Yu & P Abeygumawardena & R Franzosa, 1995. "A model of sustainable extraction of nontimber forest products in subsistence societies," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 27(10), pages 1667-1676, October.
  8. Barton, J.R. & Hertzler, G. & Hassan, R.M., 1991. "Deforestation and the External Costs Imposed on Agriculture in the Sudan," Discussion Papers 232266, University of Western Australia, School of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
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