Deforestation in the drylands of Africa: Quantitative modelling approach

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Courtesy of Springer

This paper has developed a two-sector model of forestry that gives some insights into the interactions of poverty, land tenure insecurity, economic growth, trade and deforestation in the context of the drylands of Africa. Externally, the model results show that the world demand for non-timber forestry products can lead to a win-win situation whereby both trade and environmental sustainability can be promoted. Monopolistic measures to control the supply of these products, for short-term price gains, are harmful economically and environmentally. By contrast, productivity-raising measures have a favourable impact on both the economy and the environment. Internally, the model results show that the growth of the rest of the economy has driven the economic growth of the forestry sector, but at the same time, its environmental degradation. Poverty and land tenure insecurity also contribute to this degradation. Fortunately, policies promoting basic needs satisfaction and property rights security are shown to be effective in mitigating environmental degradation in the forestry sector. The paper results contribute towards a more sustainable exploitation of forestry.

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