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Social Welfare gains from Community Forests In Orissa, India . By, Jon Barnes . Welfare Implications of Community Forest Plantations in Developing Countries: The Orissa Social Forestry Project . By, Gunnar Kohlin and Gregory S. Amacher .

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Welfare Implications of Community Forest Plantations in Developing Countries: The Orissa Social Forestry Project

By, Gunnar Kohlin and Gregory S. Amacher

American Agricultural Economics Association (November 2005)

primary question addressed
Primary question addressed

Do Community Forests create more welfare gain then the opportunity cost of the land plus the money it takes create them?

primary questions addressed
Primary questions addressed
  • More specifically:

Examine the effect of Orissa\'s social forestry project on how long it takes to collect fuel wood and the amount of fuel collected, and the decrease in pressure on the National forests.

    • "examine labor-category-specific collection decisions, focusing on time allocation, location choice, and productivity of collection"
    • identify the importance of the CF location to these decisions."
main points of presentation
Main Points of Presentation
  • Background
    • A Community Forest is a public forest located near a village that is designed to be a place of renewable fuel for villagers to collect
  • Methods
    • A questionnaire
    • Satellite maps
  • Data
    • Satellite maps and regression tables of the questionnaires
  • Results
    • How close to a forest (NF and CF) a village is effects the welfare gain created by a CF
  • Conclusion
    • India government needs to take into account the less stress it puts on the national forests and the time saved by villagers in wood collection when estimating the social welfare created by Community Forests
  • Public Policy
    • Community Forests create social welfare that makes them worthwhile projects
background social forestry
Background: Social Forestry
  • "the dominant source of energy in most developing countries is various kinds of biomass, particularly fuelwood."
  • "Overuse of free access government forests for fuel .... (and) collection difficulties in severely deforested open access forests ...impose a welfare cost on individuals in terms of lower incomes and less time for domestic work."  
  • "There have been a number of strategies undertaken to increase fuel availability." 
    • one strategy is called "Social Forestry"
background what is a community forest
Background: What is a Community Forest?
  • couple of hectares of common land next to a village
  • Since Community Forests are closer to the village than the Open Access National Forests people can gather fuel wood quicker and more efficiently.   
  • Community Forests "decrease the pressure on National Forests"
  • Informal Protection Committees (IPC)
  • Describing what the welfare effect was to the villagers
  • Utility curve
  • Questionnaire
methods welfare effect
Methods - Welfare Effect
  • "The welfare effect of a CF equals the additional marginal production from time savings, multiplied by the value/cost of time for each individual"
    • this is measured by each category within a  household, and then it is aggregated at the household level
    • the household activities where broken down into many different sections to get an accurate estimation
methods utility curve
Methods - Utility Curve
  • Productivity of collection isdivided into collection from CFs and NFs
  • A utility function was created.  U(Total time – Time used for Labor, fuel gathered, …)
  • The labor time and fuel gathered where then indexed to CFs and NFs
  • The utility curve was then used as a general equation in measuring the value added to a villager created by the CF in terms of time saved and fuel gathered.
    • This equation was later used to compare the value added between different villages
methods questionnaire
Methods - Questionnaire
  • A questionnaire was devolved to measure the effectiveness of the CF, and was used in 1995.
    • developed from a pilot study in 1993 covering 300 house holds
    • the Dhani Reserve Forest was the primary study site
    • "it provided an area with both a well-defined NF and numerous CF plantations."
    • a random sample of villages was drawn from an area 5km from the forest.
      • some villages had access to both CFs and some did not
      • the distances to the forests varied
methods questionnaire1
Methods - Questionnaire
  • households where selected by: their proximity to CFs, then by villages and then by random number generators
  • the questionnaire asked about; fuel use over the last year, "who collected the wood, where they collected, the quantity per trip, number of trips, time spent traveling to gather fuel, and time spent collecting at each site"
    • checks where used in the questionnaire to make sure the data was usable
methods gps and satellite maps
Methods – GPS and satellite maps
  • GPS methods where used to measure the distance from each village to the NF and CF.
  • Satellite images where used to measure the vegetation in the forests.
    • the vegetation varied from spot to spot
      • villages who had established "Informal Protection Committees (IPC)" had access to better vegetation due to successful lobbying
  • GPS maps
  • Equations listed through out the paper
  • Table 1 (pg 860)
    • Participation and Time for Collecting in the Community Forest (CF) and National Forest (NF)
  • Table 2 (pg 861)
    • Descriptive Statistics for Collection Analysis
  • Table 3 (pg 862)
    • Fuel Collection Results from Tobit Type 2 Estimation
  • Table 4 (pg 864)
    • Marginal Products by Household Category and Source of Fuel
  • Table 5 (pg 864)
    • Marginal and Average Products by Household Category and Source of Fuel
  • Table 6 (pg 865)
    • Time Saved and the Value of Time Saved due to Community Forests (CF)
  • income effects only whether to collect or not, not how much they collect
  • the quality of fuel and the amount of fuel varies between forests, these variations where accounted for using several parameters
  • villages without CFs spend the most time collecting fuel
  • "more men are involved in fuel collection"
  • child participation rate in fuel collection went up and women participation went down for villages with a CF
    • if there is male head of the household women are less likely to collect fuel.  these effect decreases with the age of the male.
  • larger family size is more likely to collect more fuel
  • there is a caste system present in india, three dummy variables where used to represent the castes (women in a higher caste collect less wood)
  • "Distance to NF is negatively correlated with collection in the NF and positively correlated to collection in the CF.
  • Age of the IPC is positivity related to collection for men in the NF and both men and women in the CF
    • size of the IPC is negatively correlated to collection in the CFs
  • "quality of the CF affects the decision to collect in the CF but not the NF"
  • Men and women collect more fuel per unit time when they have access to a CF, but only with limited significance
  • If a village is near a CF the villagers save time collecting wood and they collect more wood.
  • The time saved and the added fuel can be measured by the price of fuel and the minimum wage.
    • By using Table 6 as an example a the gain* created by a Community forest can be calculated

*(gain does not include the increase in grazing land other gains created by the CF)

  • “The current perception, at least with the Orissa Social forestry Project, is that investments in CFs are not worthwhile (Arnold et al.)”
  • This paper shows that CFs provide more welfare gain than previously thought because the social welfare was not properly measured.
  • “community plantations can provide substantial benefits that are not accounted for in the typical rapid assessment that devolvement agencies apply to social forestry projects.”
  • “the benefits of social forestry projects are more sensitive to location than previously thought.

Public Policy

  • “The current perception, at least with the Orissa Social forestry Project, is that investments in CFs are not worthwhile (Arnold et al.)”
  • Community Forests provide more welfare gain then previously thought, which may make them a good public policy.
  • Community Forests effectiveness is very location based, and future forests should account for how sensitive to locations the forest are