Brazil’s public authorities regularly publish “blacklists” of municipalities with high illegal deforestation rates. This environmental policy tool is working: scientists at the Center for Development Research (ZEF) and the Institute for Food and Resource Economics (ILR) at the University of Bonn have found that the public shaming strategy reduced Amazon forest loss in the blacklisted districts by 26% per year. Their findings have now been published in the journal “PLOS ONE”.
Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has declined recently. While in 2004, trees were still being felled on more than 27,000 square kilometers of land, the area was reduced to fewer than 10,000 square kilometers starting in 2009.
“There is a whole range of factors causing this,” says Elías Cisneros, Junior Researcher at the Center for Development Research (ZEF) and an employee of the Institute for Food and Resource Economics (ILR) at the University of Bonn. For instance, demand for internationally traded agrarian and forestry products also dropped in response to the financial crisis in 2008. However, Brazil’s environmental policy has played a key role in protecting the rainforest, as Cisneros has shown in his work with Sophie Lian Zhou (ILR) and Junior Professor Dr. Jan Börner (ZEF).
Public disclosure of districts with high deforestation rates
The researchers studied the effect of so-called blacklists – Brazilian authorities regularly publish the names of communities with the highest deforestation rates. “The media and non-governmental organizations can then increase pressure to hold responsible local actors accountable,” reports Börner. According to the researchers’ calculations, the “naming and shaming” policy has resulted in an approximately 26 percent drop in deforestation in recent years.
Brazil has used this political tool since 2008. Of the 771 districts in the Brazilian rainforest, “naming and shaming” was introduced in 50 areas with particularly high levels of deforestation. “Blacklisted municipalities may have been worried about economic penalties, among other things,” says Cisneros. This fear of losing market opportunities apparently helped to significantly reduce illegal deforestation.
How much deforestation would be taking place without the blacklists?
Stricter controls by authorities are another important factor. Controls are facilitated by Brazil’s modern satellite monitoring system. That makes it easier for inspectors to track down offenders of environmental laws on site. “However, our calculations showed that the blacklists are an important influencing factor in addition to the controls,” reports Cisneros. The researchers compared the listed communities with comparable non-listed communities. “Between 2008 and 2012, many blacklisted districts have apparently witnessed a collective effort to safeguard their reputation. This effort seems to have been an important driver in protecting more than 4,000 square kilometers, about 40 times the area of the Black Forest National Park in Germany,” says Börner in his summary of the findings.
Term paper as a basis for the study
The study is based on a term paper by Sophie Lian Zhou, a doctoral student at the Agricultural Science Department of the University of Bonn. She discovered the blacklisting policy in Börner’s master-level course on impact evaluation methods and started studying the policy in her final paper. “Börner and Cisneros were interested in the topic, so we pursued it further as a joint research project,” says Zhou. The result is a successful example of research-based teaching.
Publication: Naming and shaming for conservation: evidence from the Brazilian Amazon, trade journal “PLOS ONE”
Marco Elías Cisneros Tersitsch
Institute for Food and Resource Economics (ILR)
Department of Resources and Environmental Economics
University of Bonn
Tel. +49 228/731942
Junior Prof. Dr. Jan Börner
Center for Development Research (ZEF)
University of Bonn
Tel. +49 228/731873
https://blogazonia.wordpress.com/2015/09/23/shaming/ Blog Post
http://www.ilr.uni-bonn.de Institute for Food and Resource Economics (ILR)
http://www.zef.de/envpol.html Center for Development Research (ZEF)
Johannes Seiler | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel
Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.
The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...
An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.
The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...
In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...
A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
23.03.2018 | Event News
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences
23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy