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  • Author: David Wheeler, Robin Kraft, Dan Hammer
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: This report summarizes recent trends in large-scale tropical forest clearing identified by FORMA (Forest Monitoring for Action). Our analysis includes 27 countries that accounted for 94 percent of clearing during the period 2000–2005. We highlight countries with relatively large changes since 2005, both declines and increases. FORMA produces indicators that track monthly changes in the number of 1-sq.-km. tropical forest parcels that have experienced clearing with high probability. This report and the accompanying spreadsheet databases provide monthly estimates for 27 countries, 280 primary administrative units, and 2,907 secondary administrative units. Countries' divergent experiences since 2005 have significantly altered their shares of global clearing in some cases. Brazil's global share fell by 11.2 percentage points from December 2005 to August 2011, while the combined share of Malaysia, Indonesia, and Myanmar increased by 10.8. The diverse patterns revealed by FORMA's first global survey caution against facile generalizations about forest clearing in the pantropics. During the past five years, the relative scale and pace of clearing have changed across regions, within regions, and within countries. Although the overall trend seems hopeful, it remains to be seen whether the decline in forest clearing will persist as the global economy recovers.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Globalization, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar
  • Author: David Wheeler, Robin Kraft, Dan Hammer
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: In this paper, we develop and illustrate a prototype incentive system for promoting rapid reduction of forest clearing in tropical countries. Our proposed Tropical Forest Protection Fund (TFPF) is a cash-on-delivery system that rewards independently monitored performance without formal contracts. The system responds to forest tenure problems in many countries by dividing incentive payments between national governments, which command the greatest number of instruments that affect forest clearing, and indigenous communities, which often have tenure rights in forested lands. The TFPF incorporates both monetary and reputational incentives, which are calculated quarterly. The monetary incentives are unconditional cash transfers based on measured performance, while the reputational incentives are publicly disclosed, color-coded performance ratings for each country. The incentives include rewards for: (1) exceeding long-run expectations, given a country's forest clearing history and development status; (2) meeting or exceeding global REDD+ goals; and (3) achieving an immediate reduction in forest clearing. Drawing on monthly forest clearing indicators from the new FORMA (Forest Monitoring for Action) database, we illustrate a prototype TFPF for eight East Asian countries: Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. A system with identical design principles could be implemented by single or multiple donors for individual or multiple forest proprietors within one or more countries, as well as national or local governments in individual countries, tropical regions, or the global pan-tropics. Our results demonstrate the importance of financial flexibility in the design of the proposed TFPF. Its incentives are calculated to induce a massive, rapid reduction of tropical forest clearing. If that occurs, a TFPF for East Asia will need standby authority for disbursements that may total $10–14 billion annually for the next two decades. This financial burden will not persist, however, because the TFPF is designed to self-liquidate once all recipient countries have achieved clearly specified benchmarks. We estimate that the TFPF can be closed by 2070, with its major financial responsibility discharged by 2040.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Globalization, Markets
  • Political Geography: China, Indonesia, Malaysia, East Asia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Southeast Asia, Myanmar