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The Role of Human Development on Deforestation in Africa: A Modelling-Based Approach


  • Brian A., Jingwa
  • Simplice A., Asongu


The rate of deforestation in Africa is of paramount concern not only to the future of Africa, but also to the world. This study uses country-level data to model changes in forest area over an 18 year period (1990-2007) in 35 African countries and investigates the role played by important development indicators of human development. The results reveal that the net loss of forests was 0.19% every year between 1990 and 2007. This implies a total of 3.42% of forest was lost in the 18 year period. This is more in line with estimates obtained by the Food and Agricultural Organization (0.56% between1990-2000 and 0.49% between 2000-2010). Human development which involves life expectancy, education and income is found to have a positive effect on forest growth and conservation, while cutting down trees for wood fuel is a significant cause of deforestation. Using generalized linear mixed models and generalised estimating equations, we were able to calculate expected estimates of forest area for 2010, 2020 and 2030 under the assumption that nothing is done to change observed trends. In many countries, progress has been made in reforestation, forest protection and conservation. However, if indiscriminate cutting down of trees is not checked, many countries will lose most or all of their forests by 2030.

Suggested Citation

  • Brian A., Jingwa & Simplice A., Asongu, 2012. "The Role of Human Development on Deforestation in Africa: A Modelling-Based Approach," MPRA Paper 35898, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:35898

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Simplice A. Asongu & Brian A. Jingwa, 2012. "Population growth and forest sustainability in Africa," International Journal of Green Economics, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 6(2), pages 145-166.
    2. James Foster & Luis Lopez-Calva & Miguel Szekely, 2005. "Measuring the Distribution of Human Development: methodology and an application to Mexico," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 5-25.
    3. Philippe Robert-Demontrond & R. Ringoot, 2004. "Introduction," Post-Print halshs-00081823, HAL.
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    Cited by:

    1. A. Misra & Kusum Lata & J. Shukla, 2014. "Effects of population and population pressure on forest resources and their conservation: a modeling study," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 361-374, April.
    2. Simplice A, Asongu, 2011. "Deforestation and welfare : evidence from Africa," MPRA Paper 35161, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Deforestation; Environment; Human development index; Agriculture; Data modelling; Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • Q23 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Forestry
    • C39 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Other
    • C50 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - General
    • I0 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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