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The evolution of the timber sector in lowland Bolivia: Examining the influence of three disparate policy approaches

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  • Pacheco, Pablo
  • de Jong, Wil
  • Johnson, James

Abstract

This paper assesses the influence of forest policies on forestry development, and especially timber production, in Bolivia during three different periods of time. The first period began in the early 1970s when a conservative forest policy was adopted privileging commercial logging companies, and thus fueling land conflicts in particular with indigenous people, allowing a minority to accumulate considerable wealth, and marking the onset of forest degradation. From the mid-1990s, innovative policies were implemented to promote sustainable forest management, enhance the collection of forest royalties, improve the sector access to international timber markets, and include a wide range of social actors in the forest sector. While the adopted policy led to initial improvements in forest management practices, it failed to tackle inherent institutional weaknesses and increase the economic benefits from forest use to local forest users, which stimulated informal logging expansion. A third period emerged when the Morales administration came to office in 2006, questioning the underlying principles of the previous policy reform, and adopting a discourse in favor of a more equitable income distribution. Main answers to promote better income distribution are found in the distribution of public lands, but with a lack of actions to leveling the playing field among different forest users. Ironically, these policies could strengthen the bargaining position of timber companies, and foster short-term decision making in forest use, and thus illegal logging in a context of weak state control and persistence of elite capture.

Suggested Citation

  • Pacheco, Pablo & de Jong, Wil & Johnson, James, 2010. "The evolution of the timber sector in lowland Bolivia: Examining the influence of three disparate policy approaches," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 271-276, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:forpol:v:12:y:2010:i:4:p:271-276
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Morales, Juan Antonio, 1991. "Reformas Estructurales y Crecimiento Económico en Bolivia," Documentos de trabajo 4/1991, Instituto de Investigaciones Socio-Económicas (IISEC), Universidad Católica Boliviana.
    2. Morales, Juan Antonio & Sachs, Jeffrey, 1987. "La Crisis Económica en Bolivia," Documentos de trabajo 8/1987, Instituto de Investigaciones Socio-Económicas (IISEC), Universidad Católica Boliviana.
    3. Kaimowitz, David & Thiele, Graham & Pacheco, Pablo, 1999. "The Effects of Structural Adjustment on Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Lowland Bolivia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 505-520, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Patrick Bottazzi & David Crespo & Harry Soria & Hy Dao & Marcelo Serrudo & Jean Paul Benavides & Stefan Schwarzer & Stephan Rist, 2014. "Carbon Sequestration in Community Forests: Trade-offs, Multiple Outcomes and Institutional Diversity in the Bolivian Amazon," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 45(1), pages 105-131, January.
    2. Bottazzi, Patrick & Cattaneo, Andrea & Rocha, David Crespo & Rist, Stephan, 2013. "Assessing sustainable forest management under REDD+: A community-based labour perspective," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 94-103.
    3. Ravikumar, Ashwin & Andersson, Krister & Larson, Anne M., 2013. "Decentralization and forest-related conflicts in Latin America," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 80-86.
    4. de Jong, Wil & Ruiz, Sergio A., 2012. "Strangers among trees: Territorialisation and forest policies in the northern Bolivian Amazon," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(C), pages 65-70.
    5. Ramirez-Gomez, Sara O.I. & van Laerhoven, Frank & Boot, René & Biermann, Frank & Verweij, Pita A., 2020. "Assessing spatial equity in access to service-provisioning hotspots in data-scarce tropical forests regions under external pressure," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 45(C).
    6. Pokorny, Benno & de Jong, Wil & Godar, Javier & Pacheco, Pablo & Johnson, James, 2013. "From large to small: Reorienting rural development policies in response to climate change, food security and poverty," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 52-59.
    7. Balvanera, Patricia & Uriarte, María & Almeida-Leñero, Lucía & Altesor, Alice & DeClerck, Fabrice & Gardner, Toby & Hall, Jefferson & Lara, Antonio & Laterra, Pedro & Peña-Claros, Marielos & Silva, 2012. "Ecosystem services research in Latin America: The state of the art," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 2(C), pages 56-70.
    8. de Jong, Wil & Cano, Walter & Zenteno, Mario & Soriano, Marlene, 2014. "The legally allowable versus the informally practicable in Bolivia’s domestic timber market," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 46-54.

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