5 years ago

Forest Restoration in Landscapes

Forest Restoration in Landscapes

80 K. Schuyt 2.2. CAP

80 K. Schuyt 2.2. CAP and SAPARD Forestry-Related Incentives, European Union Two key programmes of the European Commission (EC) that provide incentives for afforestation and reforestation are the Community Regulation Directive 2080/92 (later introduced as part of the Common Agricultural Policy, CAP), which promotes afforestation of agricultural land, and the Special Action for Pre-Accession Measures for Agriculture and Rural Development (SAPARD), which focusses on rural development in European Union (EU) accession countries and includes funding for afforestation. Both of these schemes have been widely criticised as perverse incentives (also see the case study that follows this chapter). Under the CAP, detailed analysis in 1997 suggested that the decrease in utilised agricultural land was marginal and that the role of afforestation under CAP had been overestimated. Also, the application of the directive varied between member states, with six countries accounting for more than 90 percent of total area planted. Lastly, the analysis found examples where funds had been misspent—for instance, in Spain, where farmers frequently planted, cleared, and replanted the same plots, all with subsidised funds from the EU. Under SAPARD, it has been noted that the procedures have proven to be a big burden for many countries. In addition, concerns have been raised about some of the damaging impacts of SAPARD, such as the use of chemical protection, fence building, and construction of new roads. Also, no requirements are given under SAPARD for a minimum percentage of native tree species to be planted or incentives to enhance environmentally sound management practices. Environmental measures related to forests are only marginally included in national plans. WWF is working both in the context of CAP and the EU enlargement process to ensure that EC policies promote sustainable rural development. For example, in 2001 WWF undertook a comprehensive review study of SAPARD-related forestry measures, and it also took part in the midterm review of the CAP. Some of the main issues that emerged relate to improving monitoring and follow-up with different beneficiaries of afforestation subsidies. 2.3. Grain-for-Green Programme, China The goal of China’s Grain-for-Green programme, launched in 2000, was to convert steep cultivated land to forest and pasture. It was initiated as a result of severe flooding in China that was blamed on excessive logging and cultivation along the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers. The programme is expected to turn more than 340,000 hectares of farmland and 430,000 hectares of bare mountain back to forests. These activities are to be carried out by the communities and subsidised by the government. In return for afforestation and reforestation activities, communities receive grain, cash, and seedlings. The positive effects of the incentive programme so far are that the incentives have contributed to afforestation and reforestation activities as well as natural forest protection. However, the long-term sustainability of the programme remains uncertain along with its ability to prevent soil erosion. Much restoration has involved planting orchards on steep slopes, which do little or nothing to stop soil erosion. An important weakness of the programme has been a lack of monitoring and virtually no evaluation of the policy implementation. The Chinese government has been open to reviewing its scheme following preliminary recommendations by WWF. The Centre for International Forestry Research has also undertaken a thorough assessment of the lessons learned from this scheme (see “Local Participation, Livelihood Needs, and Institutional Arrangements”) as well as other reforestation/rehabilitation efforts in China and provided a number of concrete recommendations.

3. Outline of Tools Options to remove or mitigate public perverse incentives in the forestry sector are described here. Perrin109 recommends redirecting public incentives within the context of the forest landscape restoration approach. This means governments and donor agencies need to (1) allocate resources to the development of alternative forms of afforestation and reforestation activities that provide broader benefits to the environment and society, (2) involve local partners and stakeholders in incentive schemes (mechanisms for consultation and participation need to be put in place), and (3) spend resources on regulating the application of incentive programmes for afforestation and reforestation activities and monitoring the impacts of such activities (including developing sets of indicators and criteria to assist monitoring). This needs to be accompanied by the necessary policy measures, institutional arrangements, and monitoring and compliance mechanisms. In this respect, the CBD110 recommends three ideal phases: • Identify policies or practices that generate perverse incentives. This includes: analysing underlying causes of biodiversity loss, identifying the nature and scope of perverse incentives, identifying costs and benefits to society from removing the perverse incentives, doing a strategic environmental assessment, and so on. • Design and implement appropriate reform policies. Reforms can include the total removal of policies or practices, or their replacement with other policies with the same objectives but without perverse incentives, or with the introduction of additional policies, and so on. • Monitor, enforce, and evaluate these reform policies.This includes institutional and administrative capacity building, development of sound indicators, stakeholder involvement, and transparency. 11. Perverse Policy Incentives 81 4. Future Needs Despite the fact that numerous suggestions on how to address perverse policy incentives can be found (as described in the previous section), the reality is that many perverse policies still exist in the forestry sector. The key need is to start putting these new policies into practice, including the need for redirecting public incentives toward a forest landscape restoration approach at all levels in cases where policies have promoted habitat alteration or destruction and unsustainable use of natural resources. We also need to improve our understanding of the impacts caused by policies and practices on biodiversity. In this respect, the CBD 111 recommends undertaking further work on the use of valuation tools to assess the extent and scope of negative impacts of policies and practices on biodiversity. References 109 Perrin, 2003. 110 CBD, 2002. 111 CBD, 2002. Bazett, M., and Associates. 2000. Public Incentives for Industrial Tree Plantations. WWF, Gland, Switzerland, and IUCN, Gland, Switzerland. Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). 2002. Proposals for the Application of Ways and Means to Remove or Mitigate Perverse Incentives. Note by the Executive Secretary, Quebec, Canada. Perrin, M. 2003. Incentives for Forest Landscape Restoration: Maximizing Benefits for Forests and People. WWF Discussion Paper, WWF, Gland, Switzerland. Additional References Myers, N., and Kent, J. 1998. Perverse Subsidies—Tax $ Undercutting our Economies and Environments Alike. International Institute for Sustainable Development, Winnipeg, Canada. Sizer, N. 2000. Perverse Habits, the G8 and Subsidies the Harm Forests and Economies. World Resources Institute, Washington, DC.

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