Revista de Economia e Sociologia Rural
Print version ISSN 0103-2003
CHOMITZ, Kenneth M.; THOMAS, Timothy S. and BRANDAO, Antônio Salazar P.. The economic and environmental impact of trade in forest reserve obligations: a simulation analysis of options for dealing with habitat heterogeneity. Rev. Econ. Sociol. Rural [online]. 2005, vol.43, n.4, pp. 657-682. ISSN 0103-2003. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-20032005000400003.
A tradeable development rights (TDR) program focusing on biodiversity conservation faces a crucial problem: defining which areas of habitat should be considered equivalent. Restricting the trading scope to a narrow area could boost the range of biodiversity conserved but could increase the opportunity cost of conservation. The issue is relevant to Brazil, where TDR-like policies are emerging. Long-standing laws require each rural property to maintain a legal forest reserve (reserva legal) of at least 20%, but emerging policies allow some tradeability of this obligation. This paper uses a simple, spatially explicit model to simulate a hypothetical state-level program. We find that wider trading scopes drastically reduce landholder costs of complying with this regulation and result in environmentally preferable landscapes.
Keywords : Brazil; conservation; environment; land use; Minas Gerais; tradeable development rights.