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Designing afforestation subsidies that account for the benefits of carbon sequestration: A case study using data from China's Loess Plateau

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  • Yu, Jinna
  • Yao, Shunbo
  • Zhang, Bisheng

Abstract

This paper presents a method for determining the subsidy required to motivate farmers to participate in timber afforestation programs designed to maximize social well-being. The method incorporates a carbon sequestration benefit function into the land expected value model in order to quantify the social benefit arising from carbon sequestration by the planted trees. This is used to calculate the optimal rotation age for newly planted forests that maximizes social utility. The minimum subsidy required to motivate farmers to participate in the afforestation program was calculated using a modified decision model that accounts for the subsidy's impact. The maximum subsidy offered by the government was taken to be the NPV of the carbon sequestration achieved by afforestation. Data on Robinia pseudoacacia L. trees planted on the Loess Plateau were used in an empirical test of the model, which in this case predicts an optimal subsidy of 254.38yuan/ha over 40 years. This would guarantee the maintenance of forest on land designated for afforestation until they reached the socially optimal rotation age. The method presented herein offers a new framework for designing afforestation subsidy programs that account for the environmental service (specially, the carbon sequestration) provided by forests.

Suggested Citation

  • Yu, Jinna & Yao, Shunbo & Zhang, Bisheng, 2014. "Designing afforestation subsidies that account for the benefits of carbon sequestration: A case study using data from China's Loess Plateau," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 65-76.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:foreco:v:20:y:2014:i:1:p:65-76
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jfe.2013.09.001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dã‰Murger, Sylvie & Yang, Weiyong, 2006. "Economic changes and afforestation incentives in rural China," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(5), pages 629-649, October.
    2. Xabadia, Angels & Goetz, Renan U., 2010. "The optimal selective logging regime and the Faustmann formula," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 63-82, January.
    3. Köthke, Margret & Dieter, Matthias, 2010. "Effects of carbon sequestration rewards on forest management--An empirical application of adjusted Faustmann Formulae," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(8), pages 589-597, October.
    4. Olschewski, Roland & Benítez, Pablo C., 2010. "Optimizing joint production of timber and carbon sequestration of afforestation projects," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 1-10, January.
    5. Newell, Richard G. & Stavins, Robert N., 2000. "Climate Change and Forest Sinks: Factors Affecting the Costs of Carbon Sequestration," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 211-235, November.
    6. Asante, Patrick & Armstrong, Glen W., 2012. "Optimal forest harvest age considering carbon sequestration in multiple carbon pools: A comparative statics analysis," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 145-156.
    7. Huang, Ching-Hsun & Kronrad, Gary D., 2001. "The cost of sequestering carbon on private forest lands," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 133-142, June.
    8. Asante, Patrick & Armstrong, Glen W. & Adamowicz, Wiktor L., 2011. "Carbon sequestration and the optimal forest harvest decision: A dynamic programming approach considering biomass and dead organic matter," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 3-17, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hou, Guolong & Delang, Claudio O. & Lu, Xixi & Olschewski, Roland, 2020. "Optimizing rotation periods of forest plantations: The effects of carbon accounting regimes," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C).
    2. Gren, Ing-Marie & Zeleke, Abenezer Aklilu, 2016. "Policy design for forest carbon sequestration: A review of the literature," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 128-136.
    3. Yang, Fan & Paudel, Krishna P. & Cheng, Rongzhu & Qiu, Lingling & Zhuang, Tianhui & Zeng, Weizhong, 2018. "Acculturation of rural households participating in a clean development mechanism forest carbon sequestration program: A survey of Yi ethnic areas in Liangshan, China," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 135-145.
    4. Susaeta, Andres & Adams, Damian C. & Gonzalez-Benecke, Carlos, 2017. "Economic vulnerability of southern US slash pine forests to climate change," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 18-32.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Planting timber forest; Optimal subsidy; Optimal compensation period; Carbon sequestration benefit;

    JEL classification:

    • Q23 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Forestry
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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