Dynamics of Forest Resources: Some Empirical Testing on Assam’s Forest Cover
Unlike exhaustible resources, forest is one of the renewable resources having regeneration capacity. However the environmental effects of the deforestation as a consequence of rising consumption and economic growth is not ignorable. Therefore, it is essential to understand the dynamic behaviour of forest cover for their conservation and sustainable forest management. This chapter uses Pontryagin’s maximum principle to formulate the optimal control path of forests. Mathematical softwares like MATLAB and Mathematica have been used to depict the behavioural trend of forests. Some empirical testing and calculations have been made by using the data of Assam’s forest cover for illustrative purpose. However the outcomes are constrained by data availability. The chapter finds that any slight change in the stock leads to a change in the whole behaviour of the forest cover over time and there is a specific rate of regeneration and specific consumption/harvest rate for every quantity of stock, which may keep the stock of forests constant. A small decline in regeneration and a small increase in consumption may lead to notable deforestation. Impatience (discounting the future utility with higher rates) in planning may result lesser consumption and lower stock in future. Extraction of the rents from the renewable resources should be equal to the natural rate of growth of the resources and these rents should be invested in their regeneration wherever possible.
KeywordsForests Harvesting Stock Regeneration
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