Do All Types of Community Forest Management Projects Actually Protect Forests?

Lea Fortmann, PhD Job Market Candidate in Ohio State's Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics, presented on January 21, 2014 in Room 105 of the Agricultural Administration Building (2120 Fyffe Road) as part of the AEDE Applied Economics Seminar Series. Her presentation focused on her research: "Do All Types of Community Forest Management Projects Actually Protect Forests? Evidence from Guatemala's Maya Biosphere Reserve."

Abstract: The community forest concessions in Guatemala's Maya Biosphere Reserve provide a unique opportunity to assess the influence of various community characteristics on community forest management outcomes. In this paper, we use land use data from the reserve and apply a matched difference-in-differences approach to estimate the effectiveness of the community forest concession policy in reducing deforestation, taking into account differences among the concession communities. The results indicate that the concession policy reduced deforestation, but the amount varies across community type. We also find evidence of leakage associated with the policy, but only in concessions comprised of recent migrants. In concessions with non-residents or long-inhabited populations, the concessions reduced deforestation with no evidence of leakage.