Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Demand for wood may lead to forest growth, not decline, study says

02.05.2003


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.

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.

Kristen Cole | Brown University
Further information:
http://www.brown.edu/Administration/News_Bureau/2002-03/02-127.html

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Farming with forests
23.09.2016 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

nachricht Ecological intensification of agriculture
09.09.2016 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New welding process joins dissimilar sheets better

Friction stir welding is a still-young and thus often unfamiliar pressure welding process for joining flat components and semi-finished components made of light metals.
Scientists at the University of Stuttgart have now developed two new process variants that will considerably expand the areas of application for friction stir welding.
Technologie-Lizenz-Büro (TLB) GmbH supports the University of Stuttgart in patenting and marketing its innovations.

Friction stir welding is a still-young and thus often unfamiliar pressure welding process for joining flat components and semi-finished components made of...

Im Focus: First quantum photonic circuit with electrically driven light source

Optical quantum computers can revolutionize computer technology. A team of researchers led by scientists from Münster University and KIT now succeeded in putting a quantum optical experimental set-up onto a chip. In doing so, they have met one of the requirements for making it possible to use photonic circuits for optical quantum computers.

Optical quantum computers are what people are pinning their hopes on for tomorrow’s computer technology – whether for tap-proof data encryption, ultrafast...

Im Focus: OLED microdisplays in data glasses for improved human-machine interaction

The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing various applications for OLED microdisplays based on organic semiconductors. By integrating the capabilities of an image sensor directly into the microdisplay, eye movements can be recorded by the smart glasses and utilized for guidance and control functions, as one example. The new design will be debuted at Augmented World Expo Europe (AWE) in Berlin at Booth B25, October 18th – 19th.

“Augmented-reality” and “wearables” have become terms we encounter almost daily. Both can make daily life a little simpler and provide valuable assistance for...

Im Focus: Artificial Intelligence Helps in the Discovery of New Materials

With the help of artificial intelligence, chemists from the University of Basel in Switzerland have computed the characteristics of about two million crystals made up of four chemical elements. The researchers were able to identify 90 previously unknown thermodynamically stable crystals that can be regarded as new materials. They report on their findings in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

Elpasolite is a glassy, transparent, shiny and soft mineral with a cubic crystal structure. First discovered in El Paso County (Colorado, USA), it can also be...

Im Focus: Complex hardmetal tools out of the 3D printer

For the first time, Fraunhofer IKTS shows additively manufactured hardmetal tools at WorldPM 2016 in Hamburg. Mechanical, chemical as well as a high heat resistance and extreme hardness are required from tools that are used in mechanical and automotive engineering or in plastics and building materials industry. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS in Dresden managed the production of complex hardmetal tools via 3D printing in a quality that are in no way inferior to conventionally produced high-performance tools.

Fraunhofer IKTS counts decades of proven expertise in the development of hardmetals. To date, reliable cutting, drilling, pressing and stamping tools made of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

European Health Forum Gastein 2016 kicks off today

28.09.2016 | Event News

Laser use for neurosurgery and biofabrication - LaserForum 2016 focuses on medical technology

27.09.2016 | Event News

Experts from industry and academia discuss the future mobile telecommunications standard 5G

23.09.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

New imaging technique in Alzheimer’s disease - opens up possibilities for new drug development

28.09.2016 | Medical Engineering

Innovate coating extends the life of materials for industrial use

28.09.2016 | Materials Sciences

Blockchain Set to Transform the Financial Services Market

28.09.2016 | Business and Finance

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>