Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Blacklists Protect the Rainforest

24.09.2015

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.


Deforestation of the rainforest is declining. Brazil has been naming and shaming illegal deforestation – successfully, as researchers from the Center for Development Research have now shown.

(c) Photo: Marco Simola/Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)

“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”

Media contact:

Marco Elías Cisneros Tersitsch
Institute for Food and Resource Economics (ILR)
Department of Resources and Environmental Economics
University of Bonn
Tel. +49 228/731942
Email: e.cisneros@uni-bonn.de

Junior Prof. Dr. Jan Börner
Center for Development Research (ZEF)
University of Bonn
Tel. +49 228/731873
Email: jborner@uni-bonn.de

Weitere Informationen:

http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0136402 Publication
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

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Listening in: Acoustic monitoring devices detect illegal hunting and logging
14.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

nachricht How fires are changing the tundra’s face
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests

14.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

New type of smart windows use liquid to switch from clear to reflective

14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility

14.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>