Poverty within tropical forest: assets and activities to develop pro-poor forest conservation

Perge, Emilie (2011) Poverty within tropical forest: assets and activities to develop pro-poor forest conservation. Doctoral thesis (DPhil), University of Sussex.

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Abstract

Poverty within forests is often acknowledged but poorly assessed through economic evi-
dence. To some extent, this lack of evidence explains why even if forest conservation has
positive effects on households' welfare, such benefits are quite limited. This thesis is aimed
at investigating in three steps how forest conservation can help poor forest households to
improve their welfare.
A first chapter deals with assessing poverty of forest households in Bolivia looking at their
asset accumulation and allowing for a poverty trap mechanism that may arise, preventing
households to be better off. The empirical analysis does not find evidence for the exis-
tence of a poverty trap. Households are slowly accumulating assets over time but such
an accumulation does not lead to any improvements in their welfare. Households would
remain persistently poor.
A second chapter focuses on forest households' labour supply and allocations. Using
primary data I collected in Cameroon, a non-separable agricultural household model is
employed to identify factors influencing household labour supply and allocations into di-
verse activities. The empirical results shows that leisure is an inferior good, households
working more when having greater income. Furthermore, households participating in for-
est activities have higher levels of welfare than households that do not. Increasing prices
of forest resources helps households to improve their welfare.
The last chapter deals with designing payments for forest conservation so as to encourage
forest households to internalise externalities. These payments are theoretically analysed
using a principal-agent game in order to define incentives such that a forest group plants
and conserves a great number of trees. Payments are non-zero when observing such con-
servation levels and equal to zero in all other cases. Doing so creates a virtuous circle on
forest resources. Pro-poor conservation schemes as opposed to non-pro poor, are achiev-
able with lower payments.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > Economics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races > HT0051 Human settlements. Communities
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races > HT0401 Rural groups. Rural sociology
S Agriculture > SD Forestry
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2011 13:56
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2015 13:47
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/6930

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