The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Assessing the welfare impacts of forest ecosystem service management policies and their distributional rules

Assessing the welfare impacts of forest ecosystem service management policies and their distributional rules
Assessing the welfare impacts of forest ecosystem service management policies and their distributional rules
Community based management (CBM) is widely advocated as an effective method for governing and managing ecosystem services (ES). However, the distributional rules and maximum harvesting levels are likely to affect both the effectiveness of CBMs in maintaining ES and the fairness and equity of access to these ES. This article proposes a methodological approach for investigating normative trade-offs involved in CBM of forests, where forest conservation objectives need to be traded off against livelihoods objectives. The study uses remote sensing methods to quantify forest ES supply in Namizimu Forest Reserve in Malawi, and links this to demand for ES within the villages near the reserve. It then investigates how a plausible set of CBM rules can be developed to cap consumption of forest products to sustainable amount and quantifies, by using monetary valuation techniques, how these set of rules may affect the total well-being of local population. Our results demonstrate that, due to the spatial mismatches between demand and supply, the distribution of provisioning ES to the population across the harvesting area is unequal in biophysical terms. The current available stock of forest products is sufficient to cover the current demand, however, it is higher than the mean annual increment indicating that this level of consumption is ecologically unsustainable and will lead to forest degradation as shown under the business-as-usual scenario. We then examined the impact of governance and how CBM rules to allocate forest ES to different social groups (poor and rich) under a co-management regime will affect total societal welfare. We found that the distributional scenario that maximises total societal welfare expressed in monetary terms across the whole harvesting area is the scenario that distributes 40% of biomass to the rich group while the remaining 60% is allocated to the poor group. However, this scenario maximises Willingness to Pay (WTP) at total level but does not maximise WTP in each sub-area of forest but just for those that have a high availability for biomass. This indicates that the distributional rules that maximise total welfare at aggregate level may not maximise welfare at local level where constraints from biomass availability require to restrict further the distribution of forest products. When biomass availability is low, total societal welfare is maximised with distributional rules that distribute more trees to richer. Yet, a policymaker may choose a distributional rule that distribute more trees to the poor on normative grounds and forego the objective of maximising total welfare. In such cases the WTP analysis outlined in this paper can support the policymaker in choosing the distributional rule that minimise trade-offs between efficiency, i.e., maximising total welfare, and livelihoods objectives.

Introduction
2624-893X
Dreoni, Ilda
11da5e18-f24e-41c9-94c7-c21f3ca3ab5b
Schaafsma, Marije
937ac629-0fa2-4a11-bdf7-c3688405467d
Utila, Henri
f859b083-654a-4c43-b4d7-a4bab61d3112
Neil, Clive
7a465a90-1fe2-4874-b2de-7f030d797697
Eigenbrod, Felix
43efc6ae-b129-45a2-8a34-e489b5f05827
Dreoni, Ilda
11da5e18-f24e-41c9-94c7-c21f3ca3ab5b
Schaafsma, Marije
937ac629-0fa2-4a11-bdf7-c3688405467d
Utila, Henri
f859b083-654a-4c43-b4d7-a4bab61d3112
Neil, Clive
7a465a90-1fe2-4874-b2de-7f030d797697
Eigenbrod, Felix
43efc6ae-b129-45a2-8a34-e489b5f05827

Dreoni, Ilda, Schaafsma, Marije, Utila, Henri, Neil, Clive and Eigenbrod, Felix (2022) Assessing the welfare impacts of forest ecosystem service management policies and their distributional rules. Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, 5. (doi:10.3389/ffgc.2022.780036).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Community based management (CBM) is widely advocated as an effective method for governing and managing ecosystem services (ES). However, the distributional rules and maximum harvesting levels are likely to affect both the effectiveness of CBMs in maintaining ES and the fairness and equity of access to these ES. This article proposes a methodological approach for investigating normative trade-offs involved in CBM of forests, where forest conservation objectives need to be traded off against livelihoods objectives. The study uses remote sensing methods to quantify forest ES supply in Namizimu Forest Reserve in Malawi, and links this to demand for ES within the villages near the reserve. It then investigates how a plausible set of CBM rules can be developed to cap consumption of forest products to sustainable amount and quantifies, by using monetary valuation techniques, how these set of rules may affect the total well-being of local population. Our results demonstrate that, due to the spatial mismatches between demand and supply, the distribution of provisioning ES to the population across the harvesting area is unequal in biophysical terms. The current available stock of forest products is sufficient to cover the current demand, however, it is higher than the mean annual increment indicating that this level of consumption is ecologically unsustainable and will lead to forest degradation as shown under the business-as-usual scenario. We then examined the impact of governance and how CBM rules to allocate forest ES to different social groups (poor and rich) under a co-management regime will affect total societal welfare. We found that the distributional scenario that maximises total societal welfare expressed in monetary terms across the whole harvesting area is the scenario that distributes 40% of biomass to the rich group while the remaining 60% is allocated to the poor group. However, this scenario maximises Willingness to Pay (WTP) at total level but does not maximise WTP in each sub-area of forest but just for those that have a high availability for biomass. This indicates that the distributional rules that maximise total welfare at aggregate level may not maximise welfare at local level where constraints from biomass availability require to restrict further the distribution of forest products. When biomass availability is low, total societal welfare is maximised with distributional rules that distribute more trees to richer. Yet, a policymaker may choose a distributional rule that distribute more trees to the poor on normative grounds and forego the objective of maximising total welfare. In such cases the WTP analysis outlined in this paper can support the policymaker in choosing the distributional rule that minimise trade-offs between efficiency, i.e., maximising total welfare, and livelihoods objectives.

Introduction

Text
SpatialMapping_paper_DEF_resubmission - Accepted Manuscript
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.
Download (2MB)

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 8 March 2022
e-pub ahead of print date: 6 May 2022

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 455921
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/455921
ISSN: 2624-893X
PURE UUID: c607f2a5-df65-4d54-ae1e-61f1283d05a4
ORCID for Ilda Dreoni: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8420-522X
ORCID for Marije Schaafsma: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0878-069X
ORCID for Felix Eigenbrod: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8982-824X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 08 Apr 2022 16:32
Last modified: 30 Oct 2023 03:23

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: Ilda Dreoni ORCID iD
Author: Henri Utila
Author: Clive Neil
Author: Felix Eigenbrod ORCID iD

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×