Forest management in the context of Green economy
Introduction to the green economy and green growth in the forest sector
The idea of green economy was brought by Laura Altinger, her definition of the green economy means the process of business and infrastructure reconfiguration to meet or have better returns on the natural human and economic capital investments, while at the same time reducing the greenhouse gas emissions, the immense extraction of natural resources, the creation of less waste and the reduction of the social disparities. The financial crisis that was experienced in the year 2008 and other economic consequences resulted in a significant shift within the areas of forestry and the forest industry sectors (Bettnger, Siry and Grebner 24). The consequences that resulted from these shifts are still being felt from the forest to the market. Since the first oil crisis that happened in the year 1970, the forest product market has never been through a downturn with a magnitude as the present one.
In response to the crisis, many countries around the world have come up with stimulus packages to deal with the crisis and to promote a shift to the green economy (Davis, Johnson and Bettinger 45). The process of greening the global economy, going towards higher sustainability by reducing the impacts on the environment and climate change, are efforts that were taken before the global economic crisis. The global crisis was seen as an accelerator towards the earmark elements for achieving a greener investment
Description of the theoretical background and instruments that address the issue of forest management
This section will analyze some environmental, economic theories and instruments that have been utilized in sustainable forest management in the conservation of forests has contributed significantly to the goal of the achievement of sustainable economic development in the world (Gody 711). However, there is great concern that the natural forests that are responsible for the provision of both the tangible and the intangible economic benefits are being lost at a very fast rate. The above ideology immensely affects economic development because of environmental and social impacts of loss (Davis, Johnson and Bettinger 47). In order to have a sustainable development, there is a need for the forest ecosystems to be managed in the right war, however, the determination of the socially optimal level of conservation and the utilization of the forest in a challenging task (Hartwick and Olewiler 78). It is for these reasons that several economic theories and instruments have been used in efforts to address the issue of forest management.
- Modern capital theory and sustainable forest management
It has been widely known that, the forest economics just like the other aspects of the resource economics should be cast ideally by utilization of the capitalized theoretical terms (Davis, Johnson and Bettinger 58). The forest population in the world can always be perceived as a capital stock that has the ability to yield a sustainable consumption flow through time. As is with the conventional capital, the utilization of the forest resources today will have an effect on the use tomorrow (Hartwick and Olewiler 80). The concept of social capital and element within the modern capital theory has come up as a framework for understanding and analyzing some of the relationships among the different stakeholders that are involved in the process of community development (Henry 56). It has emerged as a significant ingredient in the achievement of an equitable and sustainable development. It is deeply rooted in the concepts of social supports, social networks, community participation and governance.
In the past few years, there has been a major development in the state policy around the world regarding forests and other resource management, the main emphasis has been the collective approaches to the formation of the concept of social capital at the community level (Hirshleiffer 24). The social capital can be considered as a major factor in the sustainable management of the natural resources around the world (Davis, Johnson and Bettinger 60). By adopting the social capital, people can be urged to work at the community level for the benefit of the environmental initiatives, this can yield tangible returns for the market, it allows (Ishihara and Pascual 52) for the exchange of ideas and information for the sake of practicing different livelihoods earning practices and to avoid the poverty trap through the economic growth (Ishihara and Pascual 54).
- Behavioral economics theory and sustainable forest management
The decision to manage the forests is primarily made of tradeoffs-this means that there must be an output A and an output B, there are gains to some and losses to the others, consumption in the near future VS the consumption at a later date (Kant and Berry 92). In a bid to create a more informed decision, people can weigh the alternatives in a more formal way, the analysis of the challenges and the ways that are used to deal with them and in specific detail, the alternative valuations that can be used for the management (Davis, Johnson and Bettinger 70).
The recent research in the behavior, economics, has given people an informed view of the principles and the assumptions that are involved in the valuation and the values that are often at issues in the process of resource management, despite the fact that the research has been greatly ignored, it has provided a potential for the purpose of understanding the tradeoffs and improving the process of management decisions (Kant and Berry 97). The sustainable forest management has taken account a large array of values and uses in the management of forest across the world. Decisions that are manifested through the theory focus on wider issues and not only the issues that concern the production of timber, but on other resource values as well this includes the biological, the aesthetic values and qualities, the employment creation and sense of place (Davis, Johnson and Bettinger 75). Any attempt to move to a wider account of the uses and the values in the management and the policy will make more than the proportionate demands for the tradeoffs that appear among them-the increase in some of these factors may result to the increase in other factors. Many issues of sustainability can be successfully analyzed through economics and an insightful guidance provided (Davis, Johnson and Bettinger 75).
Policies addressing the issue
The process of forest management has faced many challenges when it comes to the reconciliation of the demands of the various users. The governments around the world have a desire to mobilize and create employment for the renewable resources, the private developers desire to increase the profit through the activities, many people, especially in the developing countries rely on the forest for the purposes of fuel, construction, fodder and income purposes (UNDP par 1). In many places around the universe, forests are symbols of community culture. In the discussions of the major policies and the legal aspects that are applied in forest management, it is important to clarify the move from the more traditional yield concepts to that of the sustained forest management to create multiple benefits (UNEP par 4). The move is made of vital changes from the production methods made to make sure that there is a sustained commodity flow over time. The United Nations environmental programs have developed five polices in its Green Economy report, these include
- Subsidy reforms
- Green tax shift and permit
- Incentive through the sustainable public procurement rules
- Better sustainable development in the trade agreements
- Positive support through the direct government assistance
Subsidy reforms policies
The Determination of the effects of subsidies matters immensely, even though it is always possible to demonstrate that a subsidy has the ability to cause harm to the environment, relative to a baseline (Davis, Johnson and Bettinger 79). Despite the fact that there may be disagreements concerning the efficiency of achieving social goals by the use of subsidies, the fact is that there may be tradeoffs between the environmental damage and the achievement of a socially fair taxation. It is not enough to stop the analysis of the once the harm to the environment has been acknowledged, the social and the economic effects should be gauged in order to highlight any kind of tradeoffs that may be present (UNEP par 2).
The economic concept for the issue of subsidy reform emanates from the assumption that the market provides resources in a more effective way than any other mechanism that is in existence today. The payment of the state to the producer of the good that relates to forest is supposed to increase the private cost of that good so that it will reflect the social costs of that particular product. As an economic element, therefore, a subsidy reform should increase the price that may be charged with the production of a particular good (Clark and Munro 103). The main consequence of the subsidy reform should be to discourage private investors by means of a fiscal measure that is often known as a tax measure. Products from forests ought to be highly subsidized by state governments.
Green tax shift policy
The green tax shift policy is relatively new; the policy focuses on the incentive capability of that is present in the public fiancé policy. From the point, the process of taxation not only raises the needed money that is essential for funding the activities of the government, it also shows the whole value system that is in a particular society, it rewards some of the activities and at the same time punish those that are not desirable (UNEP par 2). The primary aim of this policy is to come up with a unique system that will add more strengths and increase the rewards for; fair distribution of wealth in a certain country, protection of the environment, creation of wealth and resolution of conflicts in an amicable way.
The policy contends that there is a difference between the private and the commonwealth, private wealth is created through the work of a single person, the commonwealth is provided by nature. This policy eradicates taxes on the private wealth and increase taxes on the commonwealth. The reduction or the elimination of taxes on the private wealth involves slashing the taxes on income, for example, the payroll, capital and sales (UNEP par 3). The increased taxes on the common wealth include, the emission of harmful gases into the air, destruction of the public lands for the purpose of timber and mining
Better sustainable development in the trade agreements
The trade policy should support the economic growth, the social development and the environmental protection. The presence of coherence and mutual support among the three elements is the basis of attaining sustainable development (Upton 179). Main streaming the concept of sustainability together with its economic, social and environmental dimension in all the important policies is important and should be considered as a treaty in all the trade agreements. Trade policies and the agreements can have different effects on the economy, including the environment (UNEP par 3).
Positive support through the direct government assistance
The government should be very active when it comes to issues to do with the forest management. The government, for example, can collaborate with the private sector to help protect the forests in the country (Katz and Rosen 56). Through the creation of the forest friendly package, the government should invest in forest management to assist people so that they can protect their incomes in a bid to protect and escape the effects of deforestation aspects. Government schemes should be sufficient in assisting private companies that have desires to protect and manage the forest. By bringing together the knowledge of the local communities, the private investors and the international trade partners, the government will be able to have a direct impact on the people who depend on the forests for the purpose of survival (Clark and Munro 93).
Case study on the issue addressed
In the last few years, many countries that are located in the developing countries have taken serious steps towards the process of modernizing the forest sector. Many countries around the world are looking for ways to enable the sustainable forest resource management. In the past Bolivia has found itself in a quagmire as a result of the highly selective and uncontrolled logging, the legal framework was poor and land was increasingly being used for the purpose of agriculture (Quevedo 43). The country forest sector was discredited, this crisis created a need for consensus on the urgent need for a legal, regulatory and an institutional reform. The major fear in Bolivia was that, the lack of a solid policy base would increase the demand for the forest products and that would mean that the forest would greatly be pressurized (Turner and Nguyen 45).
The rise of the environmental concerns has made the government of Bolivia to declare 15million hectares of land as protected areas. In the past the government has come up with laws that are aimed at stimulating the adoption of good practices in the forest management as a solution to stop forest depletion and to regulate land. Bolivian government takes charge of monitoring laws plus forest regulations compliance. The Bolivian context of a sustainable development is inclusive of the aspects of participation, poverty alleviation and dealing with the social inequality (Davis, Johnson and Bettinger 89). All these aspects occur within the country’s environment. Natural resources in Bolivia are backbones and vital organs of the economy. Bolivia’s development that increases economic growth can only become possible within the realms of the country’s natural resources. The country’s context of a sustainable development is delineated through the ecological resilience (Hartwick and Olewiler 98). A wide use of the economic taxes in Bolivia has been an efficient way to promote the concept of green growth in the country, the environmental taxes in the country has had a clear impact on the environment of the country; they have significantly discouraged logging in the country.
The application of the policy reforms in forest management has had numerous advantages in forest management. The policies have given more control to the regulators of forests giving them more power to control the forest. The policies have been effective in the creation of taxes and at the same time control the degradation of the forest; for example, green taxes create more revenue and control the environment at the same time. The revenue created through the policies can be channeled back to help address the environmental problems in a specific country. Forest policies stimulate introduction of better methods of forest management. Through subsidies reforms, the government is able to discourage the production of products that utilize forests. One major disadvantage with the policies is that they may not be a fully effective in forest management, for example, despite the wide use of these policies in the Bolivia forest management, the country is still experiencing widespread logging.
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