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Reducing Deforestation and Forest Degradation: Leakage or Synergy?


  • Philippe Delacote
  • Arild Angelsen


Policies to reduce deforestation and forest degradation focus on limiting agricultural expansion and nonsustainable (and often illegal) harvesting of forest products. The feedbacks between these two policy instruments are rarely discussed. A simple agricultural household model assesses the impact of a payment for environmental services on both deforestation and harvesting, and the impact of increasing the control on illegal harvesting on deforestation. When land and labor are substitutes, both policies have positive feedbacks and win-win potential. Conversely, when production factors are complements, they have negative feedbacks. A novel result is that the production factors can become substitutes if distance costs are high, making a win-win situation more likely.

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe Delacote & Arild Angelsen, 2015. "Reducing Deforestation and Forest Degradation: Leakage or Synergy?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 91(3), pages 501-515.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:landec:v:91:y:2015:i:3:p:501-515

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    Cited by:

    1. Delacote, Philippe & Robinson, Elizabeth J.Z. & Roussel, Sébastien, 2016. "Deforestation, leakage and avoided deforestation policies: A spatial analysis," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 192-210.
    2. Yvonne Hargita & Lukas Giessen & Sven Günter, 2020. "Similarities and Differences between International REDD+ and Transnational Deforestation-Free Supply Chain Initiatives—A Review," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(3), pages 1-33, January.
    3. Combes, Jean-Louis & Delacote, Philippe & Combes Motel, Pascale & Yogo, Thierry Urbain, 2018. "Public spending, credit and natural capital: Does access to capital foster deforestation?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 306-316.
    4. Pan, Wenqi & Kim, Man-Keun & Ning, Zhuo & Yang, Hongqiang, 2020. "Carbon leakage in energy/forest sectors and climate policy implications using meta-analysis," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C).
    5. Aguilar-Gómez, Carlos R. & Arteaga-Reyes, Tizbe T. & Gómez-Demetrio, William & à vila-Akerberg, Víctor D. & Pérez-Campuzano, Enrique, 2020. "Differentiated payments for environmental services: A review of the literature," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 44(C).
    6. García, Jorge H. & Orlov, Anton & Aaheim, Asbjørn, 2018. "Negative leakage: The key role of forest management regimes," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 8-13.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy


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