Impacts of Paving Roads for Development in the Democratic Republic of Congo: Deforestation and Biological Carbon Loss
This paper develops an econometric model to explore the determinants of land use choices for the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The model is not just capable of representing land use choices using large aggregation categories, but it also allocates agricultural area to the country relevant crops by augmenting the dataset with low-cost, widely available, agricultural statistics about crop areas and production. This is important to decision makers who want to plan for economic growth while trying to minimize greenhouse gas emissions. An empirical application indicates that the implementation of an ongoing government’s plan for road construction in the country would cause a reduction of about 2% of the existing standing forest stock, and a loss in biological carbon stock estimated to be 294 TgC. Encroachment of agriculture into forested land would contribute to the reduction in biological carbon stock by an estimated 112 TgC and would generate annual emissions estimated to be 21 thousand Mg CO2e with low nitrogen application or 300 thousand Mg CO2e from high nitrogen application.
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