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Multiple Use Management of Tropical Forests: On the Superiority of Land Use Specialization

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  • Marco Boscolo

Abstract

One of the debates in tropical forest management centers on how to manage these resources for multiple uses. In fact, although the need to account for multiple values in forestry decisions is widely recognized, its implications for forest management are not clear. In particular, how is multiple-use to be achieved? Should management for multiple values be adopted on each forest management unit? Or should multiple use be attained at the landscape level, for example by dividing the landscape into units and manage each unit for a dominant use (e.g., timber production, conservation, etc.)? In tropical forest settings, where multiple use is often attained with less intensive harvesting and at the expenses of bringing larger – often virgin – areas into production, the circumstances under which multiple-use management is superior to dominant-use remain unclear. Past scholarly work has pointed to some circumstances under which dominant use may be superior to multiple (joint) use. The empirical significance of these circumstances has been quantified only in limited temperate settings. In this paper, we review two circumstances that are likely to yield to a non-convexity in the forest production set: the existence of large fixed costs associated with the production of one good (e.g., timber); and the existence of inefficiencies in the timber production process. The empirical significance of such circumstances is evaluated with the aid of a simulation model developed for a lowland tropical forest in peninsular Malaysia. Results suggest that, for certain benefits associated with forest diversity, specialized use (separation of conservation and timber production processes) is likely to be a strategy superior to multiple use.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Boscolo, 2000. "Multiple Use Management of Tropical Forests: On the Superiority of Land Use Specialization," CID Working Papers 41, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:cidhav:41
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    File URL: http://www.cid.harvard.edu/cidwp/pdf/041.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Boscolo, Marco & Buongiorno, Joseph & Panayotou, Theodore, 1997. "Simulating options for carbon sequestration through improved management of a lowland tropical rainforest," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(3), pages 241-263, July.
    2. Marco Boscolo & Jeffrey R. Vincent, 2000. "Promoting Better Logging Practices in Tropical Forests: A Simulation Analysis of Alternative Regulations," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 76(1), pages 1-14.
    3. Jeffrey R. Vincent & Clark S. Binkley, 1993. "Efficient Multiple-Use Forestry May Require Land-Use Specialization," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 69(4), pages 370-376.
    4. Lewis, Tracy R & Schmalensee, Richard, 1977. "Nonconvexity and Optimal Exhaustion of Renewable Resources," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 18(3), pages 535-552, October.
    5. Swallow Stephen K. & Wear David N., 1993. "Spatial Interactions in Multiple-Use Forestry and Substitution and Wealth Effects for the Single Stand," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 103-120, September.
    6. Swallow, Stephen K. & Parks, Peter J. & Wear, David N., 1990. "Policy-relevant nonconvexities in the production of multiple forest benefits," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 264-280, November.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    tropical forests; multiple use; specialization; non-convexities; biodiversity; carbon storage;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q23 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Forestry

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