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University of Zurich 5/03/07 Halting Deforestation: Reflections from the Air, on the Ground, and in the Experimental Lab Elinor Ostrom.

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Presentation on theme: "University of Zurich 5/03/07 Halting Deforestation: Reflections from the Air, on the Ground, and in the Experimental Lab Elinor Ostrom."— Presentation transcript:

1 University of Zurich 5/03/07 Halting Deforestation: Reflections from the Air, on the Ground, and in the Experimental Lab Elinor Ostrom

2 Many Thanks to: My Co-Author of PNAS article – Dr. Harini Nagendra* IFRI colleagues in Nepal and India for contributions to remote sensing studies All IFRI Colleagues who have contributed to on-the- ground data and to the communities who helped in these studies All colleagues who helped conduct and analyze the lab experiments reported herein Funding from Ford Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, NSF-USA, Branco Weiss Fellowship *Ostrom, Elinor, and Harini Nagendra “Insights on Linking Forests, Trees, and People from the Air, on the Ground, and in the Laboratory.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 103(51): 19224–19231.

3 The Policy Debate Since Hardin’s “Tragedy of the Commons” (1968) big debates over how to avoid over- harvesting of forests (as well as fisheries, water resources, common-pool resources in general) Strong claims that government ownership, private ownership, or community control is “the only way” Policies too often a result of panacea thinking Data used in policy making frequently highly aggregated & not useful for planning and evaluation

4 The Advantage of Multiple Methods Remotely sensed images provide reliable measures of land-use changes within different management regimes, allow us to go back in time On-the-ground studies provide evidence on variables associated with forest condition, which can be associated with institution type and rules – with considerable investment can also trace over time Experimental studies enable measurement of explicit changes in carefully designed settings on micro-decision-making

5 Focus on South India: dense populations, high dependence, strong govt. protection (India) decentralization (Nepal)


7 From the Air Remote Sensing – most frequently used method for over time studies of land cover change, and forest fragmentation In conjunction with GIS – institutional boundaries, market locations, roads, other drivers Increased data availability from the 1970s – enables us to go back in time – before and after studies of policy changes Landscape view – valuable complement to single-case forest studies

8 Multi-temporal Color Composites Multi-temporal satellite color composites provide a synoptic view of landscape level change from three dates in time Integrates information from the green bands of each image, correlated with vegetation Facilitates visual assessment of changes in vegetation extent, and degradation Complemented by detailed classification and fragmentation studies for each landscape

9 Methods - Interpreting multi-temporal color composites Grey/Black – Stable forest White – Stable open areas Red/Yellow – Clearings Green/Blue – Regrowth

10 Focus Today Protected areas in India & recent boundary & community forests in Nepal Evaluate changes over time Do government protected areas work? Do community forests work? What factors explain stability, re-growth, and clearance of these forests? Lets first examine an understaffed tiger reserve from the air – Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve

11 TADOBA-ANDHARI TIGER RESERVE Interior villages Multi-temporal Landsat color composite, , landscape surrounding Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve, India. Regrowth Clearing Regrowth Clearing Stable forest

12 Multiple Patterns in TATR Stable forests in the core Park guards are not able to control harvesting along sections of the borders Complementary field studies find –Consistent harvesting of non-timber forest products –Existence of considerable conflict between guards and local people

13 Women harvesting thatch grass from within the TATR - while the forest ranger accompanying our research team looks on helplessly.

14 Cattle entering the TATR boundary (marked by the yellow topped pillar in the background) on their daily foraging beat.

15 Lets Examine Two More Protected Areas in India The Mahananda Wildlife Sanctionary (MWS) – a National park with a substantial budget – on the north of the next map Baikunthapore Reserve Forest (BRF) with a much lower budget – on the south Budget constraints associated with more clearing in the south

16 MAHANANDA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY BAIKUNTHAPORE FOREST RESERVE Regrowth Multi-temporal Landsat color composite, Landscape surrounding MWS and BFR India. Regrowth Clearing

17 Electrified fence surrounding Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary – keeping people out, and wildlife in!

18 Despite substantial human pressure from surrounding villages, the reserve has maintained its forest cover

19 Bicycles and trucks confiscated from timber poachers stealing large logs

20 Lets Move to Chitwan Valley of Nepal Buffer zone forests located adjoining Royal Chitwan National Park—received substantial external funding Community forests recently established in the area with little external funding Both types of forests characterized by some regrowth and some clearing Forests characterized by regrowth are monitored by a combination of users and forest officials

21 Multi-temporal Landsat color composite, , east Chitwan district, Nepal. Buffer zone forests Community forests B1 B2 B3 B4 B7 B5 B10 B8 B11 B9 B6 B12 C1 C3 C5 C4 C7 C6 C2 C8 Regrowth Clearing

22 Findings from the Air Some government parks with good budgets are better managed, while others are degrading Some community forests are better managed while others are degrading Neither management approach is a panacea Regular monitoring appears to be a significant factor influencing the nature of forest change When monitoring is undertaken by the government, potential for conflict; when by the community, may be effective even in conditions of substantial change

23 Now Lets Get Down on the Ground International Forestry Resources and Institutions (IFRI) Research Network –Collaborative research centers (CRCs) in Bolivia, Colombia, Guatemala, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nepal, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda & the U.S – initiated in 1992 –Developed & use a common set of research protocols Forest mensuration Governance and socio-economic factors

24 Is Formal Designation as a Protected Forest Associated with Higher Vegetation Density? Tough question to answer across ecological zones since forest mensuration data is not meaningful across zones The forester or biologist who leads an IFRI team in each site is asked to evaluate forest density AFTER completing a random sample of forest plots in a forest Asked to evaluate vegetation density of this forest compared to other forests in this region

25 Comparison of Forester’s Field Evaluation of Vegetation Densities in 163 Parks and Non-parks Vegetation density Very sparse Some- what sparse About average Some what Abun- dant Very Abun- dant Officially designated parks (N = 76) 13%21%36%26%4% Non-parks (N = 87)6%22%43%26%3% Kolmogorov-Smirnov Z score = 0.472, p =.979. No significant difference. Source: Adapted from Hayes and Ostrom, 2005, p. 607.

26 If Formal Designation Does Not Make a Difference – What Does? Monitoring by users themselves –Cross-sectional study of 178 Forest User Groups (Gibson, Williams & Ostrom, 2005) –Group interviews asked users about regularity of their own monitoring the rule conformance of other users Strong statistical relationship between regular monitoring and forest density: controlling for formal organization, dependence on forests, & social capital

27 Other Findings from IFRI studies Batistella et al. (2003) – In Brazil, rubber tappers acted as unofficial monitors for 16 forest reserves, reducing forest clearing Ghate and Nagendra (2006) – In India, local enforcement was most effective when initiated by the community, with better regeneration Banana and Gombya-Ssembajjwe (2000) – In Uganda, when local people monitor private or government forests, illegal harvesting is lower

28 Measuring Illegal Uses on the Ground in Uganda Forests International Forestry Resources & Institutions (IFRI) team measured illegal uses (grazing, firewood, pit- sawing, farming) In randomly selected forest plots in five forests –Private forest: evidence of illegal uses in less than 20% of plots –Government forest where indigenous community monitored forest use: evidence of illegal uses in less than 15% of plots –Three government forests, relying on own officials, had evidence of illegal uses in 66% of forest plots –Source: Banana and Gombya-Ssembajwe (2000)

29 Number of sample plots with evidence of illegal consumptive disturbance (N = 30 per forest) (1 private forest and 4 government forests in Uganda) Name of ForestCharcoalPitsawingCommercial Firewood GrazingFarmNo Illegal Consumptive Disturbance Namungo (P) Lwamunda (G) Mbale (G) Echuya* (G) Bukaleba (G) P = privately owned forest; G = government-owned forest *Additional monitoring provided by the Abayanda community who live in forest. Source: Banana, Abwoli, & William Gombya-Ssembajjwe “Successful Forest Management: The Importance of Security of Tenure and Rule Enforcement in Ugandan Forests.” In People and Forests: Communities, Institutions, and Governance, ed. Clark Gibson, Margaret McKean, & Elinor Ostrom, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

30 New Findings from Repeat Visits to Same Forests Now can use forest measures (Basal area, Diameter Breast Height, Number of Stems, etc) 42 IFRI forests now visited for 2 nd time –India – 5 forests –Kenya – 3 forests –Nepal – 10 forests –Uganda – 18 forests –USA – 6 forests Not a random sample of forests but based on a random sample of plots inside each forest and first study of this type

31 Percent Forests With Significant Change in Forest Measures Between First and Second Site Visits (t test, p<0.1) Dependant Variable Government Forests (N = 22) Lower Same Better Community Forests (N = 15) Lower Same Better Private forests (N = 5) Lower Same Better Basal Area 40% 55% 5%20% 53% 27% - 100% - DBH23% 68% 9%20% 53% 27% - 80% 20% Stems50% 45% 5%40% 33% 27%40% 60% -

32 Tenure Type and User Monitoring Given importance assigned to type of formal management in current policy debates it is important to –Assess relative strength of ownership type on changes in DBH, Basal Area & Stem Count –Assess strength of regular involvement of user groups in monitoring rules on same forest measures

33 Impact of Formally Designated Tenure and Forest Monitoring on Changes in Forest Condition: Assessment using ANOVA Independent Variables Change in DBH Change in Basal Area Change in Stem Count Ownership a F = 0.89 F = 2.52F = 1.00 Involvement of User Groups in Monitoring Rules b F = 0.28F = 10.55**F = 4.66* A Government, community, private b At least one user group is involved in regular monitoring of rules of forest use * Significant at.05** Significant at.01

34 Field Results Puzzle: Why Do Users Monitor Others? Voluntary effort to produce a “public good” of rule conformance Game theoretic predictions – no one will voluntarily contribute to provide a public good Earlier findings from field studies of farmer irrigation systems led to a series of laboratory experiments at IU

35 Harvesting Common-Pool Resources in the Lab In a baseline experiment of complete anonymity and finitely repeated game –Game theoretical prediction is of substantial over- harvesting –This prediction supported in the lab Adding the capacity to communicate – does not change prediction – in a social dilemma communication is only CHEAP TALK Subjects make good use of opportunity for cheap talk – especially when repeated They use it to agree on joint harvesting strategy & for verbal sanctions of unknown over- harvesters

36 Aggregate Results of CPR Experiments Experimental Designs using 25 Token Endowments Average Net Yield as % of Maximum a Average Net Yield Minus Fees & Fines Defection Rate (%) (A) Baseline Experiment: No Communication (3) (B) One-shot Communication (3) (C) Repeated Communication (6) (D) Imposed Sanctioning Institution (8) 37 9 _ (E) One-shot Communication & Imposed Sanctioning Institution (3) (F1) One-shot Communication Endogenous Choice of Sanctioning Institution - None Chosen (2) (F2) One-shot Communication Endogenous Choice of Sanctioning Institution – Sanction Chosen (4) a Nash equilibrium for all designs is a net yield of 39% of maximum ( Adapted from: Ostrom, Walker, and Gardner, 1992: p. 414)

37 Farmers Quick to Monitor, Repair, and Sanction

38 After Observing Users Sanctioning Each Other in the Field Designed experiment where subjects could pay a fee to fine another subject Game-theoretical prediction – no one will voluntarily sanction others –Since they would be paying a cost to produce a benefit shared by everyone? Prediction not supported in our lab or other labs! Subjects do sanction one another – too much! Imposed sanctioning system – counter- productive unless they can at least agree on a joint strategy through communication

39 In the Field – Users Make Their Own Rules Design enabled subjects who had experience with imposed sanctions to decide whether or not to make agreement about harvesting levels AND about whether & how large sanctions they would use Groups who decided against crafting their own sanctioning system – started with low harvesting rates but cooperation collapsed over time Groups who made their own rules – achieved very high levels of conformance and very high payoffs.

40 What Have We Learned Overall? Protecting forested land in developing world through an externally imposed institution is feasible, but It is costly!!!!! –May be strongly resisted locally –May deprive people who have been stewards of the land of the fruits of their past investments –May not protect forest & may reduce trust in Government & cooperation more generally –May be “appropriate” for large tracts of relatively isolated forests or to protect valuable sites (e.g. 2 of the Indian Forests shown above & Tikal National Park in Guatemala in Dietz, Ostrom & Stern, 2003)

41 Other Means to Protect Forested Involvement of local users is also feasible –Takes time & resources to craft appropriate institutions for a given ecology, economy & social relationships –Building trust & reciprocity is essential If locally evolved institutions were ignored in recent past, may be difficult to regain trust External financial incentives may reduce over-harvesting – but must be sustained overtime and monitoring is necessary

42 The Big Lessons Beware of assuming that changing formal tenure is a sufficient policy change to affect harvesting practices in the field Need to study success and failures to develop better theory and to craft better policies Multiple empirical methods help to provide a fuller explanation of complex human-environment relationships Lab experiments are an important research method

43 Findings Consistent NRC Synthesis of Lessons Learned Formal tenure tends not to be effective at halting over-harvesting unless: –Shared knowledge of boundaries and rules –Agreement on their legitimacy (or expensive fences and patrolling) –Monitoring of rule conformance (by users as well as officials) The above are necessary but NOT sufficient to halt deforestation »NRC (2002) The Drama of the Commons

44 May I Answer your Questions??


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