Three essays on Brazil's deforestation control policies and their potential effects: Conflicts, Compliance, and Secondary forest recovery

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Virginia Tech


Brazil reduced its annual deforested area from 27772 km2 to 4571 km2 from 2004 to 2012. This phenomenal achievement resulted from multiple government initiatives, most notably the Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Deforestation in the Legal Amazon (PPCDAm). However, these ambitious deforestation control policies yield multiple spillover effects. This dissertation examines the effects of the two initiatives from the PPCDAm program, namely the Forest Code of 2012 and the Green Municipality Program. The first chapter provides causal evidence that land registration abates conflicts in Pará. The chapter discusses policy implications in three discussions, prospective deforestation control, potential agricultural growth, and livelihoods promotion within CAR and its related policies. The results from this chapter provoke a question about the drop in land conflicts that stimulates forest conservation on private landholdings. Thereon, my second chapter deals with the dynamic land clearing decision of private landholders in the Brazilian Amazon. The results suggest that the persistence of compliance, thus forest conservation on privately held land, is driven mainly by past compliance and municipality-level incentives. As these two chapters established that land registration abates conflicts, and private landholders are driven by specific incentives to preserve the forest on their land. My third chapter investigates the impact of the provincial governance promotion program on secondary forest recovery. Municipalities participating in the local government improvement program steadily observe an expansion in secondary forest areas. To sum up, my dissertation explores the spillover effects of the deforestation control policy, starting with achieving fewer land conflicts and investigating the local incentives to promote forest protection on private land. Lastly, I provide evidence that the governance promotion program will result in secondary forest recovery.



PPCDAm, Forest Code of 2012, Green Municipality Program, Land Conflicts, Compliance and Secondary Forest Recovery