Advertisement

Regional Environmental Change

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 401–415 | Cite as

Forest protection and economic development by offshoring wood extraction: Bhutan’s clean development path

  • Isaline JadinEmail author
  • Patrick Meyfroidt
  • Eric F. Lambin
Original Article

Abstract

With globalization, virtual exchanges of natural resources embodied in traded commodities redistribute geographically land use and its environmental impacts. Benefits of national forest protection may be undermined at the global-scale by leakage through international trade. We studied land use displacement associated with national policies to protect forests in Bhutan. This case study provides a simple situation: a dominant forest cover almost unaffected by agricultural expansion, a rural economy dominated by the primary sector, centralized forest conservation policies, and a dominant trading partner. We assessed the net effects at the international level of the Bhutanese forest protection policies by accounting for trade in wood products with India. Our results show that these policies have been effective in maintaining a high forest cover, but have been accompanied by an increasing displacement of forest use to India. In 1996–2011, the difference between the total volume of wood imported from India and the total volume exported from Bhutan—i.e., the net displacement—corresponds to 27 % of the total volume consumed in Bhutan. In 2011, 68 % of the total forest area required to produce the wood consumed in Bhutan was located in India. The wood imported by Bhutan was likely originating from tree plantations in the northeastern Indian states. Since Bhutan has few tree plantations and very valuable natural forests, the net international-level ecological impacts of this land use displacement is arguably positive. Most of the wood imports of Bhutan were wood charcoal for its emerging chemical industries. This case of displacement reflects functional upgrading in the value-chain rather than an externalization of consumption-based environmental costs. Through its government policies, Bhutan has managed to support its economic development while protecting its forests and leapfrogging the negative impacts on forests generally associated with the early stages of modernization.

Keywords

Forest protection Trade Land use Displacement Environmental impact 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank Thinley Wangdi from the Ugyen Wangchuk Institute for Conservation and Environment in Bhutan for providing useful data and information, and for helpful discussions. This study contributes to the Global Land Project.

Supplementary material

10113_2014_749_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (558 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 558 kb)

References

  1. Atmadja S, Verchot L (2011) A review of the state of research, policies and strategies in addressing leakage from reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+). Mitig Adapt Strateg Glob Chang 17:311–336. doi: 10.1007/s11027-011-9328-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bair J (2005) Global capitalism and commodity chains: looking back, going forward. Compet Chang 9:153–180. doi: 10.1179/102452905X45382 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Basavaraja PK, Sharma SD, Dhananjaya BN, Badrinath MS (2010) Acacia nilotica: a tree species for amelioration of sodic soils in Central dry zone of Karnataka, India. In: 19th World congress of soil science, soil solutions for a changing world, Australia, pp 73–76Google Scholar
  4. Berlik MM, Kittredge DB, Foster DR, Forest H (2002) The illusion of preservation: a global environmental argument for the local production of natural resources. J Biogeogr 29:1557–1568CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Berthou A, Emlinger C (2011) The trade unit values database, CEPII working paper No. 2011-10, ParisGoogle Scholar
  6. Bhattarai TN (1998) Charcoal and its socio-economic importance in Asia. In: Regional training on charcoal production. Regional wood energy development programme (RWEDP), Pontianak, pp 1–12Google Scholar
  7. Blanchez J-L (1997) Forest resources and roundwood supply in the Asia Pacific countries: situation and outlook to the year 2010. Asia-Pacific forestry sector outlook study, working paper No. APFSOS/WP/17, RomeGoogle Scholar
  8. Bremer LL, Farley KA (2010) Does plantation forestry restore biodiversity or create green deserts? A synthesis of the effects of land-use transitions on plant species richness. Biodivers Conserv 19:3893–3915. doi: 10.1007/s10531-010-9936-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brown J, Bird N (2011) Bhutan’s success in conservation: valuing the contribution of the environment to Gross National Happiness. Overseas Development Institute, LondonGoogle Scholar
  10. Bruckner M, Giljum S, Lutz C, Wiebe KS (2012) Materials embodied in international trade—global material extraction and consumption between 1995 and 2005. Glob Environ Chang 22:568–576. doi: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2012.03.011 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chatterjee S, Saikia A, Dutta P, et al (2006) Biodiversity significance of North East India for the study on natural resources, water and environment nexus for development and growth in North East India. Forests Conservation Programme and WWF-India, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  12. Chhetri BB, Schmidt K, Gilmour D (2009) Community forestry in Bhutan—exploring opportunities and facing challenges. In: Community Forestry International Workshop, Pokhara, pp 15–18Google Scholar
  13. Chowdhury RR, Moran EF (2012) Turning the curve: a critical review of Kuznets approaches. Appl Geogr 32:3–11. doi: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2010.07.004 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Commission GNH (1992) Seventh Five Year Plan 1992–1997. Gross National Happiness Comission, Royal Government of Bhutan, ThimphuGoogle Scholar
  15. Dekker-Robertson DL, Libby WJ (1998) American forest policy—global ethical tradeoffs. Bioscience 48:471–477CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dhital DB (2002) Overview of Forest Policy Reviews in Bhutan. In: Forest policy workshop, Kuala LumpurGoogle Scholar
  17. Dhital DB (2009) Bhutan forestry outlook study. Asia-Pacific forestry sector outlook study II, working paper No. APFSOS II/WP/2009/04. FAO, BangkokGoogle Scholar
  18. Dinerstein E (2013) Rarity made common. The kingdom of rarities. Island Press, Washington, pp 241–270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. DoF (2006) Forest and nature conservation rules of Bhutan. Department of Forest, Ministry of Agriculture, Royal Government of Bhutan, ThimphuGoogle Scholar
  20. DoFPS (2011) Timber import guideline 2011. Department of Forest and Park Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Royal Government of Bhutan, ThimphuGoogle Scholar
  21. DoFPS (2013) Forestry facts and figures 2013. Department of Forest and Park Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Royal Government of Bhutan, ThimphuGoogle Scholar
  22. Dutta R, Kolhi K (2005) North East India and a forest case. For Case Stud 10:1–4Google Scholar
  23. Ea, COWI (2012) Bhutan: a national strategy and action plan for low carbon development—final report. Energy Analyses and COWI, DenmarkGoogle Scholar
  24. EC-FAO (2002a) An overview of forest products statistics in South and Southeast Asia. FAO, BangkokGoogle Scholar
  25. EC-FAO (2002b) Forest policies and forest policy reviews. Information and analysis for sustainable forest management: linking national and international efforts in South and Southeast Asia. In: Programme E-FP (ed), Workshop proceedings No. 2. FAO, BangkokGoogle Scholar
  26. FAO (2001) Global forest resources assessment 2000—main report. FAO forestry report paper no. 140. Rome. doi: 10.1016/S0264-8377(03)00003-6
  27. FAO (2013) FAOSTAT. http://faostat.fao.org
  28. FAO, MoA (1991) Master plan for forestry development in Bhutan. Wood energy sectoral analysis. Regional wood energy development programme in Asia GCP/RAS/154/NET, Field document no. 32. FAO, BangkokGoogle Scholar
  29. FRDD (2007) Brief on national forest inventory, MAR-SFM working paper 13. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  30. FSI (2010) Carbon stocks in India’s forests. Forest survey of India. Ministry of Environment and Forest, DehradunGoogle Scholar
  31. FSI (2011) Indian state of forest report. Forest survey of India. Ministry of Environment and Forest, DehradunGoogle Scholar
  32. Gan J, McCarl BA (2007) Measuring transnational leakage of forest conservation. Ecol Econ 64:423–432. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2007.02.032 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Gaulier G, Zignago S (2010) BACI: international trade database at the product-level. The 1994–2007 version, CEPII working paper No. 2010-23. Centre d’Etudes Prospectives et d’Informations Internationales, ParisGoogle Scholar
  34. Gellert PK (2003) Renegotiating a timber commodity chain: lessons from Indonesia on the political construction of global commodity chains. Sociol Forum 18:53–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Gereffi G (1994) The organization of buyer-driven global commodity chains: how US retailers shape overseas production networks. In: Gereffi G, Korzeniewicz M (eds) Commodity chains and global capitalism. Praeger, WestportGoogle Scholar
  36. Gilani H, Shrestha HL, Murthy MSR et al (2014) Decadal land cover change dynamics in Bhutan. J Environ Manag. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2014.02.014 Google Scholar
  37. Global Timber.org.uk (n.d.) Roundwood equivalent volume. http://www.globaltimber.org.uk/rwevolume.htm
  38. Grossman GM, Krueger AB (1991) Environmental impacts of a North American free trade agreement. National Bureau of economic research working paper 3914, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  39. ICFRE (2010) Forest sector report India 2010. Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, DehradunGoogle Scholar
  40. Jorgenson AK (2006) Unequal ecological exchange and environmental degradation: a theoretical proposition and cross-national study of deforestation, 1990–2000. Rural Sociol 71:685–712. doi: 10.1526/003601106781262016 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Joshi M, Palanisami K (2011) Impact of eucalyptus plantations on ground water availability in South Karnataka. In: ICID 21st international congress on irrigation and drainage. Tehran, pp 255–262Google Scholar
  42. Kaplinsky R, Morris M (2002) A handbook for value chain research. The Open University Library’s e-Prints Archive, United KingdomGoogle Scholar
  43. Kastner T, Erb K-H, Nonhebel S (2011) International wood trade and forest change: a global analysis. Glob Environ Chang 21:947–956. doi: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2011.05.003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Lambin EF, Meyfroidt P (2011) Global land use change, economic globalization, and the looming land scarcity. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 108:3465–3472. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1100480108 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Mahat G (1985) Protected areas of Bhutan. In: Thorsell JW (ed) Conserving Asia’s natural heritage. The planning and management of protected areas in the Indomalayan realm. IUCN, Gland and Cambridge, pp 26–35Google Scholar
  46. Mahat T, Griffin D, Shepherd K (1987) Human impact on some forests of the middle hills of Nepal—part 3. Forests in the subsistence economy of Sindhu Palchok and Kabhre Palanchok. Mt Res Dev 7:53–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Manoharan TR (2011) Supply determinants of timber trade in India, WWF ReportGoogle Scholar
  48. Mather AS (1992) The forest transition. Area 24:367–379Google Scholar
  49. Mayer AL, Kauppi PE, Angelstam PK et al (2005) Importing timber, exporting ecological impact. Science 308:359–360CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Mayer AL, Kauppi PE, Tikka PM, Angelstam PK (2006) Conservation implications of exporting domestic wood harvest to neighboring countries. Environ Sci Policy 9:228–236. doi: 10.1016/j.envsci.2005.12.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Meyfroidt P, Lambin EF (2009) Forest transition in Vietnam and displacement of deforestation abroad. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 106:16139–16144. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0904942106 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Meyfroidt P, Rudel TK, Lambin EF (2010) Forest transitions, trade, and the global displacement of land use. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107:20917–20922. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1014773107 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Meyfroidt P, Lambin EF, Erb K-H, Hertel TW (2013) Globalization of land use: distant drivers of land change and geographic displacement of land use. Curr Opin Environ Sustain 5:438–444. doi: 10.1016/j.cosust.2013.04.003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Mishra A, Sharma SD, Khan GH (2003) Improvement in physical and chemical properties of sodic soil by 3, 6 and 9 years old plantation of Eucalyptus tereticornis. For Ecol Manag 184:115–124. doi: 10.1016/S0378-1127(03)00213-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. MoAF (2008) Are we up or down with forest cover? Review of the land cover exercises from 1976 to 2007. Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Thimphu Google Scholar
  56. Moktan MR, Gratzer G, Richards WH et al (2009) Regeneration and structure of mixed conifer forests under single-tree harvest management in the western Bhutan Himalayas. For Ecol Manag 258:243–255. doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2009.04.013 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Murray BC, McCarl BA, Lee H (2004) Estimating leakage from forest carbon sequestration programs. Land Econ 80:109–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Myers N, Mittermeier RA, Mittermeier CG (2000) Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature 403:853–858. doi: 10.1038/35002501 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. NBC (2009) Biodiversity action plan 2009. National Biodiversity Centre, Ministry of Agriculture, ThimphuGoogle Scholar
  60. NEC (2000) First greenhouse gas inventory. National Environment Commission, ThimphuGoogle Scholar
  61. NEC (2011) Second national communication to the UNFCCC. National Environment Commission (NEC), Royal Government of Bhutan, ThimphuGoogle Scholar
  62. Negi SP (2009) Forest cover in Indian Himalayan states—an overview. Indian J For 32:1–5Google Scholar
  63. Nongbri T (2001) Timber Ban in North-East India: effects on livelihood and gender. Econ Polit Wkly 36:1893–1900Google Scholar
  64. Norbu L, Dhital DB, Wangda P (2008) Restoration in Bhutan—accomplishments and prospects. In: Lee DK (ed) Keep Asia Green, Vol. III “South Asia”. Vienna, pp 67–109Google Scholar
  65. NSB (2013) Statistical yearbook of Bhutan. National Statistics Bureau, Royal Government of Bhutan, ThimphuGoogle Scholar
  66. NSSC, PPD (2011) Bhutan land cover assessment 2010—technical report. National Soil and Services Centre and Policy and Planning Division, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Royal Government of Bhutan, ThimphuGoogle Scholar
  67. OCC (2006) Results of population and housing census of Bhutan 2005. Office of the Census Commissioner, Royal Government of Bhutan, ThimphuGoogle Scholar
  68. Olson DM, Dinerstein E (1998) The global 200: a representation approach to conserving the Earth’ s most biologically valuable ecoregions. Conserv Biol 12:502–515CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Ostwald M, Henders S (2014) Making two parallel land-use sector debates meet: carbon leakage and indirect land-use change. Land Use Policy 36:533–542. doi: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2013.09.012 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Pandit MK, Sodhi NS, Koh LP et al (2007) Unreported yet massive deforestation driving loss of endemic biodiversity in Indian Himalaya. Biodivers Conserv 16:153–163. doi: 10.1007/s10531-006-9038-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Paul A, Khan ML, Arunachalam A, Arunachalam K (2005) Biodiversity and conservation of rhododendrons in Arunachal Pradesh in the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot. Curr Sci 89:623–634Google Scholar
  72. Penjore D, Rapten P (2004) Trends of forestry policy concerning local participation in Bhutan, trends for policy concern local participation in Bhutan. The Centre for Bhutan Studies, BhutanGoogle Scholar
  73. Peters GP (2010) Managing carbon leakage. Carbon Manag 1:35–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Pfaff A, Walker R (2010) Regional interdependence and forest “transitions”: substitute deforestation limits the relevance of local reversals. Land Use Policy 27:119–129. doi: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2009.07.010 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Porter ME (1985) Competitive advantage. The Free Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  76. Ramankutty N, Heller E, Rhemtulla J (2010) Prevailing myths about agricultural abandonment and forest regrowth in the United States. Ann Assoc Am Geogr 100:502–512CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. RGoB (1995) The Forest and Nature Conservation Act of Bhutan, 1995. Royal Government of Bhutan, ThimphuGoogle Scholar
  78. Rice J (2007) Ecological unequal exchange: international trade and uneven utilization of environmental space in the world system. Soc Forc 85:1369–1392CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Rosencranz A, Lélé S (2008) Supreme court and India’s forests. Econ Polit Wkly 39:1770–1774Google Scholar
  80. Roy PS, Joshi PK (2002) Forest cover assessment in north-east India—the potential of temporal wide swath satellite sensor data (IRS-1C WiFS). Int J Remote Sens 23:4881–4896. doi: 10.1080/01431160110114475 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Roy PK, Samal NR, Roy MB, Mazumdar A (2010) Soil carbon and nutrient accumulation under forest plantations in Jharkhand State of India. Clean: Soil, Air, Water 38:706–712. doi: 10.1002/clen.200900198 Google Scholar
  82. RSPN (2011) Strategic plan of royal society for protection of nature 2011–2015. Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN), ThimphuGoogle Scholar
  83. Rudel TK (2002) Paths of destruction and regeneration: globalization and forests in the tropics. Rural Sociol 67:622–636CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Sangay T, Vernes K (2008) Human–wildlife conflict in the Kingdom of Bhutan: patterns of livestock predation by large mammalian carnivores. Biol Conserv 141:1272–1282CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Sargent C, Sargent O, Parsell R (1985) The forests of Bhutan: a vital resource for the Himalayas? J Trop Ecol 1:265–286. doi: 10.1017/S0266467400000341 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Schaffartzik A, Mayer A, Gingrich S et al (2014) The global metabolic transition: regional patterns and trends of global material flows, 1950–2010. Glob Environ Chang 26:87–97. doi: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2014.03.013 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Schindele W (1995) Forest resources management, Bhutan-German integrated forest management project no. 92.2267.0-01-00. AltusriedGoogle Scholar
  88. Schindele W (2004) Forest Resources Potential Assessment (FRPA) for Bhutan, Bhutan-German sustainable RNR development project (BG-SRDP/GTZ), GTZ ON 2001.2045.1-001.00. AltusriedGoogle Scholar
  89. Shafik N, Bandyopadhyay S (1992) Economic growth and environmental quality: time series and cross-country evidence, world development report 1992. Washington DCGoogle Scholar
  90. Shah S (2014) Developing Bhutan’s economy: limited options, sensible choices. Asian Surv 29:816–831CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Shi L (2012) The Mineral Industries of Bhutan and Nepal. In: US Department of the Interior (ed) Area reports: International-Asia and the Pacific: US geological survey minerals yearbooks 2010, Vol III. US Government Printing Office, Washington, pp 51–54Google Scholar
  92. Sohngen B, Brown S (2004) Measuring leakage from carbon projects in open economies: a stop timber harvesting project in Bolivia as a case study. Can J For Res 839:829–839. doi: 10.1139/X03-249 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Tshering K (2009) Agriculture and usage of natural resources in Bhutan. J Fac Agric Shinshu Univ 6:3–42Google Scholar
  94. UN (2011) Who is benefiting from trade liberalization in Bhutan? A gender perspective. 1–68Google Scholar
  95. Upadhyay KP (1995) Shifting Cultivation in Bhutan: a gradual approach to modifying land use patterns. A case study from Pema Gatshel District. 1–47Google Scholar
  96. Van Noord H (2010) Feasibility of REDD + in Bhutan: a scoping study. Watershed Management Division, Department of Forests and Park Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Forest, ThimphuGoogle Scholar
  97. Villoria NB, Hertel TW (2011) Geography matters: international trade patterns and the indirect land use effects of biofuels. Am J Agric Econ 93:919–935. doi: 10.1093/ajae/aar025 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. Wangchuk S (2011) Fuelwood consumption and production in alpine Bhutan: a case study of resource use and implications for conservation and management in Wangchuk Centennial Park. University of Montana, MissoulaGoogle Scholar
  99. Wangdi T, Lhendup P, Wangdi N (2013) An analysis of forestry policy, acts and rules of bhutan to mainstream climate change adaptation, regional climate change adaptation knowledge platform for Asia, Partner Report Series No. 13. Stockholm Environment Institute, BangkokGoogle Scholar
  100. Wear DN, Murray BC (2004) Federal timber restrictions, interregional spillovers, and the impact on US softwood markets. J Environ Econ Manag 47:307–330. doi: 10.1016/S0095-0696(03)00081-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  101. Wu JC (1997) The mineral industry of Bhutan. Ministry of Trade and Industry, Division of Geology and Mines, ThimphuGoogle Scholar
  102. Wu J (2000) Slippage effects of the conservation reserve program. Am J Agric Econ 82:979–992CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  103. Würtenberger L, Koellner T, Binder CR (2006) Virtual land use and agricultural trade: estimating environmental and socio-economic impacts. Ecol Econ 57:679–697. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2005.06.004 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isaline Jadin
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Patrick Meyfroidt
    • 1
    • 2
  • Eric F. Lambin
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Georges Lemaître Centre for Earth and Climate Research, Earth and Life InstituteUniversité Catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium
  2. 2.Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique – FNRSBrusselsBelgium
  3. 3.School of Earth Sciences and Woods Institute for the EnvironmentStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

Personalised recommendations