Environmental incomes and rural livelihoods: a global comparative analysis


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CIFOR scientist Terry Sunderland gave this presentation on 10 September 2012 at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Jeju, South Korea, during a side event hosted by CIFOR titled ‘Linking conservation and poverty, landscapes and livelihoods: what have we learnt so far?’.

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Environmental incomes and rural livelihoods: a global comparative analysis

  1. 1. Environmental incomes and rural livelihoods: a global comparative analysis The PEN Team Side event: Linking conservation and poverty, landscapes and livelihoods: what have we learnt so far? WCC Jeju 10th September 2012THINKING beyond the canopy
  2. 2. Outline  Introduction to the Poverty and Environment Network (PEN)  Research findings: • Forest/environmental income & livelihoods/poverty • Gender • Tenure • Deforestation THINKING beyond the canopy
  3. 3. PEN is…Large, tropics-wide collection of detailed & high-quality &comparable data by PhD students on the poverty-forest(environment) nexus, coordinated by CIFOR.It is the most comprehensive analysis of poverty-forestlinkages undertaken to date. THINKING beyond the canopy
  4. 4. Features of PEN  Approach: a network • PhD students: Long fieldwork & student enthusiasm • Supported by senior resource persons • Mutual benefits  Capacity building • Majority of partners from developing countries  State-of-the-art methods • Quality data – short recall • Comparable methods • Methods summarised in a 2011 book THINKING beyond the canopy
  5. 5. PEN: the numbers.. 25 countries 40+ PEN studies 239 households in the average study 364 villages or communities surveyed >8,000 households surveyed 40,950 household visits by PEN enumerators 2,313 data fields (variables) in the average study 294,150 questionnaire pages filled out and entered 456,546 data cells (numbers) in the average study 17,348,734 data cells in the PEN global data base! THINKING beyond the canopy
  6. 6. The PEN data set THINKING beyond the canopy
  7. 7. What is the contribution of forestsand other environmental resources to rural livelihoods? Two common hypotheses from the literature: 1. Forest/environmental income is significant in rural livelihoods (and considerably undervalued) 2. The poor rely more on forests: • Open/easy access • Lack of other opportunities (low opp. cost of labour) THINKING beyond the canopy
  8. 8. Income shares by source, global Cropping 17.6 12.0 Forest 12.5 9.6 Wage 15.2 Livestock 5.1 7.0 Other 7.7 Business 7.3Other env. 4.6 1.6 0 10 20 30 Share (%) Subsistence Cash THINKING beyond the canopy
  9. 9. Forest reliance by income quintile, global Top 20% 9.1 9.9 60-80% 10.0 9.5 40-60% 11.5 8.9 20-40% 13.0 8.3Bottom 20% 15.3 7.5 0 5 10 15 20 25 Forest income share (%) Subsistence Cash THINKING beyond the canopy
  10. 10. Inter-site variation .6 Forest reliance and income at site levelForest income share .2 0 .4 5 6 7 8 9 Total income (log, USD PPP) Fitted line Latin America Asia Africa THINKING beyond the canopy
  11. 11. Gender  Many of the claims often made in the literature on gender and forest products are based on case studies • It is unclear how generalizable they actually are  We investigated whether several commonly held views on gender and forest use are supported by the global PEN data using descriptive and regression analysis THINKING beyond the canopy
  12. 12. Who collects forest products? THINKING beyond the canopy
  13. 13. Summary of gender findings There is large regional variation in both the shares of forest products collected by women Even after controlling for most of the factors discussed in the literature as well as differences in level of market integration, women in Africa collect a much larger share of forest products than women in Asia and Latin America Many of the claims that come out of the gender and forest literature do not hold using the PEN global data sample Men play a much more important and diverse role in the contribution of forest products to rural livelihoods than is often reported THINKING beyond the canopy
  14. 14. Tenure: what questions? Who are the formal owners of forests? (State; Community; Private) Who are the actual or de facto users of the forest? (State; Community; Private; and all permutations) If rules are enforced, how strongly are then enforced? (High; Moderate; None) THINKING beyond the canopy
  15. 15. Regional forest tenure distributions by formal owner Asia Latin America Africa THINKING beyond the canopy
  16. 16. Summary of tenure findings  Formal ownership category influences the intensity of use of forests (esp. open access)  Moderate enforcement has a greater effect than high enforcement for state (negative) and private (positive) forests  Full congruence between owners and users can have negative effect on forest income due to enforcement THINKING beyond the canopy
  17. 17. Patterns of rural deforestation THINKING beyond the canopy
  18. 18. Incidence of land clearing Incidence: 27% of HH’s, but highly variable across sites. Mean area cleared = 1.3ha Greater incidence of land clearance among: • Land rich HH’s (clear 55% more land than landless poor) • Male-headed HH’s (gender may be a mediating factor) • Younger HH’s • HH’s close to forest • HH’s that have suffered “shocks” THINKING beyond the canopy
  19. 19. Conclusions Forest/env. income play a vital role in rural livelihoods • 1/5 of the household income from forests in our sample • Poor are more reliant Failing to account for this contribution: • Gives a misleading picture of rural livelihoods • Overestimates poverty • Gender findings question perceived wisdom • Biases perspectives on pathways in and out of poverty:  Benefits of converting forest to cropland overestimated  Tenure and property rights are crucial  Prohibiting access to wild product source extraction/ marketing may have significant rural welfare costs THINKING beyond the canopy
  20. 20. Look out for…  Special Issue of World Development including all of the PEN-related research findings  PEN website:http://www.cifor.org/pen/ THINKING beyond the canopy
  21. 21. www.cifor.org THINKING beyond the canopy