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dc.contributor.advisor Vincent, Dr. Jeffrey R.
dc.contributor.author Stich, Monica
dc.date.accessioned 2009-04-22T18:48:05Z
dc.date.available 2009-04-22T18:48:05Z
dc.date.issued 2009-04-22T18:48:05Z
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10161/962
dc.description.abstract As deforestation accounts for a significant percentage of worldwide carbon emissions, reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) has been the focus of intense international debate. REDD programs offer a financial mechanism to compensate areas that would have been deforested for avoided carbon emissions above an established baseline. This study examined the feasibility of such a program in El Chore Forest Reserve in Bolivia, which faces destruction from the illegal seizure of land by poor immigrant farmers. Three main components were used to obtain a spatial distribution of the minimum price of carbon required for conservation (i.e. compensate for the opportunity cost of agriculture): estimation of biomass, prediction of deforestation, and calculation of the opportunity cost. A map of biomass was estimated by regressing spectral enhancements of 2007 satellite imagery on a spatially coarse reference map of the Amazon region. It was concluded that the reserve has an average biomass of 121.1 Mg biomass/ha with a standard deviation of 15.58. The spatial probability of future deforestation was calculated using a logistic analysis on deforestation between 2001 and 2004 based on biophysical variables. By applying a projection of area deforested per year based on historical trends, the results indicated the area that would be deforested. In the absence of intervention, it was predicted that 44% of the forest reserve would be converted to agriculture by 2036 (Kappa: 0.57). The opportunity cost was modeled using profit predictions of the four main crops (rice, soybean, maize, wheat). Depending on the crop, projections indicated that prices would increase 35-100% and yields were expected to increase 55-88% by 2040. Expected profits were scaled based on the suitability of the land by crop. The average opportunity cost for a three-year time period ranged from $904/ha in 2006 to $2143/ha in 2036. Using an economic model with an 8% discount rate the average price would need to be $21.17/tC. Since the biomass estimate is conservative, this is likely an upper bound on the price of carbon. These results could be used to inform the development of a carbon program and determine target areas for conservation initiatives. en_US
dc.format.extent 2536651 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.subject carbon payments en_US
dc.subject REDD en_US
dc.subject deforestation en_US
dc.subject opportunity cost of agriculture en_US
dc.subject economic modeling en_US
dc.subject Bolivia en_US
dc.title An Economic Analysis of REDD Carbon Payments on Agricultural Expansion in Bolivia en_US
dc.type Masters' project
dc.department Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences

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