Cash for carbon: Do payments for ecosystem services programmes help reduce deforestation in Uganda?

Presented by Seema Jayachandran, associate professor, Department of Economics, Northwestern University, Illinois, USA.

Date: 19 December 2016
Time: 3.30-5.00 p.m
Venue: Seminar Hall 1, Kamala Devi Complex, India International Centre, New Delhi – 110003

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Abstract

There are discussions globally about measures to curb the rate of deforestation in developing countries to reduce carbon emissions and to address climate change. A 3ie-funded study in Uganda had tried to evaluate the effectiveness of a payments for ecosystem services (PES) programme, which paid forest-owning landowners in western Uganda for not cutting down forested areas. The programme was implemented as a randomised trial in 121 villages, of which 60 received the programme for two years. 

In this seminar, Seema Jayachandran, will discuss the research findings and the results of the 3ie-funded PES study in Uganda. The study found that the PES programme reduced deforestation and forest degradation. Tree cover was measured using high-resolution satellite imagery to measure impact of the programme. In treatment villages, rate of decline of tree cover declined was found to be slower (by 2% to 5%) as compared to control villages (7% to 10%) during the study period. The study also found that in the villages where the programme was implemented, there was a reduced 'social cost of carbon', the value placed on delayed carbon-dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.

About the speaker

Seema Jayachandran is an associate professor in the Department of Economics at the Northwestern University. She is currently conducting randomised evaluations in India, Uganda and Zambia related to child health, environmental conservation, and gender attitudes. Her work focuses primarily on health in developing countries, and her research interests also include education, environment, labour markets and political economy.

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Cash for carbon: Do payments for ecosystem services programmes help reduce deforestation in Uganda?
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