Economic Theory & Research; Labor Policies; Access to Markets; Markets and Market Access; Geographical Information Systems; Environmental Economics & Policies; Agricultural Knowledge and Information Systems
Summary: The woodlands in some parts of the Sahel are effectively an open-access resource. Under open access, fuelwood cutters have no incentive to allow for benefits that might accrue if the wooded area were managed rather than mined. Those benefits include sustainable streams of fuelwood, fruits, and other tree products, browse for cattle, and ecological services such as nitrogen fixation and erosion prevention. To remedy this problem, some Sahelian areas have moved to give communities effective control of local woodland resources. To make it easier to analyze the economic cost of such supply-side interventions, the authors present an economic framework and computational method for assessing policy impacts on the cost of woodfuel supplies, and the spatial distribution of biomass, in a particular Sahelian woodland setting. They use spatial data on standing stock and on the costs of transport to market to model a supply curve of fuel to a fuel-consuming location. given an exogenously specified demand, the model simulates, period by period, the extraction, regeneration, and transport of wood fuels. It also permits easy calculation of the dynamic cost of woodfuel depletion. They apply the model to evaluate the benefits and ecological impacts of various scenarios for woodland management around the city of N'Djamena in Chad.
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