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The Domestic Benefits of Tropical Forests: A Critical Review

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  • Chomitz, Kenneth M
  • Kumari, Kanta

Abstract

Many forest conservation projects seek to preserve biodiversity by protecting habitats from exploitation or degradation. Although such efforts are often motivated by global concerns, habitat protection also yields domestic benefits. Some of these are intangible or difficult to quantify; others, such as watershed protection and the production of nonforest timber products, are immediate and tangible. There are two rationales for quantifying the domestic benefits of habitat conservation. The first is motivational. Host countries capture only a small proportion of the global benefits which stem from biodiversity conservation. Demonstration of palpable local benefits could help to build support for biodiversity-oriented projects. Second, the magnitude of domestic benefits could influence project financing. Sufficiently large net domestic benefits could justify financing of a project on narrow economic grounds, with biodiversity conservation as a by-product. This review finds that the quantifiable benefits of forest preservation in providing hydrological services and nontimber forest products are highly variable. Locally important in some situations, these classes of domestic benefits may in general be smaller than popularly supposed. This underscores the need for financing conservation from the Global Environmental Facility or other global sources rather than placing the burden entirely on domestic resources.

Suggested Citation

  • Chomitz, Kenneth M & Kumari, Kanta, 1998. "The Domestic Benefits of Tropical Forests: A Critical Review," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 13(1), pages 13-35, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:wbrobs:v:13:y:1998:i:1:p:13-35
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    1. Chomitz, Kenneth M & Gray, David A, 1996. "Roads, Land Use, and Deforestation: A Spatial Model Applied to Belize," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(3), pages 487-512, September.
    2. Mohd Shahwahid & Awang Noor A.G. & Abdul Rahim N & Zulkifli Y & Razani U, 1997. "Economic Benefits of Watershed Protection and the Tradeoff with Timber Production: A Case Study in Malaysia," EEPSEA Policy Brief pb1997051, Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA), revised May 1997.
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    4. Simpson, R David & Sedjo, Roger A & Reid, John W, 1996. "Valuing Biodiversity for Use in Pharmaceutical Research," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 163-185, February.
    5. Alberto Veloz & Douglas Southgate & Fred Hitzhusen & Robert Macgregor, 1985. "The Economics of Erosion Control in a Subtropical Watershed: A Dominican Case," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 62(2), pages 145-155.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ninan, K.N. & Inoue, Makoto, 2013. "Valuing forest ecosystem services: What we know and what we don't," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 137-149.
    2. Godoy, R. & Overman, H. & Demmer, J. & Apaza, L. & Byron, E. & Huanca, T. & Leonard, W. & Perez, E. & Reyes-Garcia, V. & Vadez, V., 2002. "Local financial benefits of rain forests: comparative evidence from Amerindian societies in Bolivia and Honduras," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 397-409, March.
    3. World Bank, 2007. "Nigeria - An Economic Analysis of Natural Resources Sustainability : Land Tenure and Land Degradation Issues," World Bank Other Operational Studies 7947, The World Bank.
    4. repec:eee:forpol:v:84:y:2017:i:c:p:72-82 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Zwane, Alix Peterson, 2007. "Does poverty constrain deforestation? Econometric evidence from Peru," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 330-349, September.
    6. Pagiola, Stefano, 2008. "Payments for environmental services in Costa Rica," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(4), pages 712-724, May.
    7. Paul J. Ferraro & R. David Simpson, 2002. "The Cost-Effectiveness of Conservation Payments," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 78(3), pages 339-353.
    8. Kurian, M., 2001. "Farmer managed irrigation and governance of irrigation service delivery : analysis of experience and best practice," ISS Working Papers - General Series 19093, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    9. Heather Klemick, 2008. "Forest Fallow Ecosystem Services: Evidence from the Eastern Amazon," NCEE Working Paper Series 200805, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised May 2008.
    10. Douglas, Ellen M. & Sebastian, Kate & Vorosmarty, Charles J. & Wood, Stanley & Chomitz, Kenneth M., 2005. "The role of tropical forests in supporting biodiversity and hydrological integrity: a synoptic overview," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3635, The World Bank.
    11. May, Peter H. & Soares-Filho, Britaldo Silveira & Strand, Jon, 2013. "How much is the Amazon worth ? the state of knowledge concerning the value of preserving amazon rainforests," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6668, The World Bank.
    12. Klemick, Heather, 2011. "Shifting cultivation, forest fallow, and externalities in ecosystem services: Evidence from the Eastern Amazon," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 95-106, January.
    13. Lele, Sharachchandra & Srinivasan, Veena, 2013. "Disaggregated economic impact analysis incorporating ecological and social trade-offs and techno-institutional context: A case from the Western Ghats of India," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 98-112.
    14. Turner, R. Kerry & Paavola, Jouni & Cooper, Philip & Farber, Stephen & Jessamy, Valma & Georgiou, Stavros, 2003. "Valuing nature: lessons learned and future research directions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 493-510, October.
    15. Wunder, Sven & Engel, Stefanie & Pagiola, Stefano, 2008. "Taking stock: A comparative analysis of payments for environmental services programs in developed and developing countries," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(4), pages 834-852, May.
    16. repec:eee:ecolec:v:138:y:2017:i:c:p:199-222 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Jared Hardner & Peter Frumhoff & Darren Goetze, 2000. "Prospects for mitigating carbon, conserving biodiversity, and promoting socioeconomic development objectives through the clean development mechanism," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 61-80, March.
    18. Dang Phan, Thu-Ha & Brouwer, Roy & Davidson, Marc, 2014. "The economic costs of avoided deforestation in the developing world: A meta-analysis," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 1-16.
    19. Purushothaman, Seema & Hegde, Seema S. & Patil, Sheetal & Kashyap, Sham, 2009. "People’s Perception of Benefits from a Protected Catchment: A Case Study of Gundal Command in Karnataka," Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Indian Society of Agricultural Economics, vol. 64(4).
    20. Croitoru, Lelia, 2007. "Valuing the non-timber forest products in the Mediterranean region," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 768-775, September.
    21. Géraldine Froger & Valérie Boisvert & Philippe Méral & Jean-François Le Coq & Armelle Caron & Olivier Aznar, 2015. "Market-Based Instruments for Ecosystem Services between Discourse and Reality: An Economic and Narrative Analysis," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(9), pages 1-17, August.

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