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An economic model of the Amazon timber industry

Frank Merry, Woods Hole Research Center, fmerry@whrc.org (Presenting)
Britaldo Soares, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, britaldo@csr.ufmg.br
Daniel Nepstad, Woods Hole Research Center, dnepstad@whrc.org
Gregory Amacher, Virginia Tech, gamacher@vt.edu

Two of the most important tropical forest conservation accomplishments in history took place in 2004 and 2005. Twenty million hectares of protected areas and public forest lands were created in hotly disputed frontier regions of the Amazon Basin and new legislation removed further large tracts of forest from private land markets. We report that the hidden economic costs of these acts may, however, ultimately undermine their success, and while they provide much needed protection services, they will redistribute logging pressure to an unprepared and still ungoverned private land sector. Using an economic model of the Amazon timber industry, we estimate the costs of the new protected areas to the industry. We also estimate the potential of concessions to supply current demand and estimate the harvest volume that will remain in private or State government lands. Our results suggest that in order to buffer these conservation achievements against illegal logging and offset the costs of successful long term implementation we continue to require a system for managed access to private land and State forests for the timber industry and a mechanism by which worldwide beneficiaries pay Amazon societies for the economic cost of conservation.

Science Theme:  LC (Land Use and Land Cover Change)

Session:  3B: Modeling LCLUC

Presentation Type:  Oral

Abstract ID: 19

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