Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Demand For Wood May Lead To Forest Growth, Not Decline, Study Says

Date:
May 2, 2003
Source:
Brown University
Summary:
Under the right economic conditions, a growing demand for forest products that accompanies development may lead to an increase – not a decline – in forest cover, according to a new study by researchers at Brown University and Harvard University. Policies that focus on reducing paper demand may not necessarily increase forestation.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Under the right economic conditions, a growing demand for forest products that accompanies development may lead to an increase – not a decline – in forest cover, according to a new study by researchers at Brown University and Harvard University. Policies that focus on reducing paper demand may not necessarily increase forestation.

Related Articles


The study examined the connection between the economy and forest cover in India, a country with a relatively closed economy that experienced an apparent increase in forest growth in recent decades. Estimates obtained from satellite images of a sample of representative rural areas in India suggested an increase from about 10 percent forest cover in 1971 to about 24 percent in 1999.

"Concern about the phenomena of global warming and declining biodiversity has focused attention on the link between the world's forests and economic growth," said Andrew D. Foster, professor and chair of the Department of Economics at Brown. "By carefully structuring its policies, India set the stage for an increase in demand for this natural resource to lead to an increase in its supply."

Foster conducted the study, published in the May 2003 Quarterly Journal of Economics, with Mark R. Rosenzweig, the Mohamed Kamal Professor of Public Policy at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Using satellite images of land use in rural India during nearly three decades, household survey data and census data, researchers sought to identify the underlying paths by which economic growth affects forests.

The increase in forest growth was not automatic, the researchers said. Several of India's policies contributed to the forest increase: economic incentives such as providing people with a share of the revenue when timber was extracted from public forests (encouraging them to farm trees as they would another crop); conservation methods such as protection of forest areas and joint forest management; and trade policies that limited importation of forest products.

The growing demand for forest products –wood for newspaper, furniture and new homes – appeared to be met by planting new trees rather than further exploiting existing forests.

"The owners of forest resources had an incentive to increase the supply of trees in response to the increased demand because they reaped at least part of the reward from sale of the trees," said Rosenzweig.

The nature of India's economy enabled researchers to identify the relationship between economic growth and forest growth. India is a closed economy in which the demand for forest products was met by indigenous trees. In open economies – those in which forest products are traded broadly – there is no systematic relationship between economic growth and changes in forest cover, according to the researchers.

Foster and Rosenzweig began investigating whether economic factors such as agricultural productivity and wages were driving differences in forest change within India, but found that these processes could not explain an increase in India's forests. Their findings do not support either of two explanations for forest growth previously discussed by economists: that increased agricultural productivity increases tree area by decreasing the need for expansion of agricultural lands; that growth in rural employment increases forests by moving labor out of forest-resource extraction.

The study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Brown University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Brown University. "Demand For Wood May Lead To Forest Growth, Not Decline, Study Says." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 May 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/05/030502075957.htm>.
Brown University. (2003, May 2). Demand For Wood May Lead To Forest Growth, Not Decline, Study Says. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/05/030502075957.htm
Brown University. "Demand For Wood May Lead To Forest Growth, Not Decline, Study Says." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/05/030502075957.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Lioness Has Rare Five-Cub Litter

Raw: Lioness Has Rare Five-Cub Litter

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) — A lioness in Pakistan has given birth to five cubs, twice the usual size of a litter. Queen gave birth to two other cubs just nine months ago. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) — Using motion tracking technology, researchers from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) are trying to establish an optimum horse riding style to train junior jockeys, as well as enhance safety, health and well-being of both racehorses and jockeys. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bear Cubs Tumble for the Media

Bear Cubs Tumble for the Media

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) — Two Andean bear cubs are unveiled at the U.S. National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Alicia Powell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

AFP (Mar. 25, 2015) — Experts are gathering in Botswana to try to end the illegal wildlife trade that is decimating populations of elephants, rhinos and other threatened species. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins