Impact Assessment of Natural Resource Management Policy Research: A case study of the contribution of the Sustainable Wetlands Adaptation and Mitigation Project to the effectiveness of the Indonesian Forest Moratorium
Flores, Nicole Leiann
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The complexity of interactions that inform policy-making poses several challenges to evaluating the impact of policy research. Two key obstacles to policy-oriented research impact assessment (PORIA) are determining the degree of influence that can be claimed by a knowledge-generating entity and quantifying the impact of a policy-oriented research program. This thesis builds upon prior PORIA efforts to develop a framework for the evaluation of the impact of the Sustainable Wetlands Adaptation and Mitigation Program (SWAMP), an environmentally-focused, policy-oriented research project led by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). We examine a case study of the Indonesian Forest Moratorium policy to determine the policy's impact on emissions from peat deforestation. Results indicate that the policy has been largely ineffective in decreasing deforestation to date and has in fact been associated with increased deforestation above business-as-usual trends. Nevertheless, our analysis shows that if the moratorium were to achieve full protection, Indonesia could avoid the release of 10 - 20 million tons of carbon dioxide over the next 15 years, which corresponds to a mean social value of $402 - 805 million using a $40/ton social cost of carbon. With SWAMP's timely knowledge generation on tropical wetland carbon dynamics we estimate that $4.03 - 40.26 million of these social benefits can be attributed to CIFOR. Furthermore, through its involvement in the IPCC Wetlands Supplement and the Blue Carbon Initiative, SWAMP stands to positively influence outcomes of the 45 billion tons of carbon stored in non-Indonesian tropical peatlands and the global extent of mangroves, further increasing the impact of CIFOR.
- Masters Theses