Completed projects

Balancing ecotourism and livestock production: implications for livelihoods and the environment

Transfrontier conservation initiatives in Southern Africa have resulted in multiple claims on land between different uses and groups in rural communities. Ecotourism and livestock production are options for enhancing livelihoods, where unemployment rates are up to 60%, but lack of information on their economic viability and implications on the environment impedes decision making. The main objective is to analyse the potential of livestock production and ecotourism to contribute towards poverty reduction and employment, within bio-physical constraints such as land availability, wildlife disease incidence and grazing capacity. This is done using a bio-economic optimization model and choice modeling techniques.

Contact: Petronella Chaminuka

EMPHORES EU Marie Curie fellowship (contract number: MEIF-CT-2006-039364)

Emphores deals with the mineral resource phosphorus (P) that is essential for the agricultural production as fertilizer input. The resource is extracted from the limited reserves that are also absent in Europe. In fact, most countries of the world are importers of phosphorus resources. The aim of the project is to apply the up-to-date knowledge in resource economics and resources management to the problem of P depletion with a long-term view. We explore drivers of intra- and intertemporal allocations of P resources, we derive conclusions about efficient extraction paths and consider recycling as a resource augmenting technology. The research topic requires an approach that combines information from natural sciences and social sciences. This challenge provides interesting results that can open up fruitful discussions on non-renewable resources in general.

Contact: Hans-Peter Weikard

HIV/AIDS, labor organization and agrobiodiversity: the case of farm households in SW Ethiopia

HIV/AIDS is increasingly becoming a problem in Ethiopia. Improved nutrition contributes to delaying the progression of HIV into AIDS. Higher agrobiodiversity in the homegarden contributes to improving the nutritional status of farm households. HIV/AIDS affected farm households observe a decrease in labor supply and productivity causing them to reallocate labor. The reallocation of labor may result in changes in agrobiodiversity. Sharecropping is often used to alleviate labor shortages in agricultural production. The purpose of this project is to analyze the implications of HIV/AIDS for agrobiodiversity through sharecropping arrangements based on a study in SW Ethiopia.

Contact: Kidist Gebreselassie

Adoption of Domesticated Indigenous Fruit Trees

This is a research project in collaboration with Dagmar Mithöfer of the Department of Economics, Section for Food Security, Environment and Development, University of Hannover and sponsored by WIMEK and ICRAF. In this project the adoption potential for improved domesticated indigenous fruit trees is analysed. A real option approach is used to compare the ex-ante costs and benefits of planting domesticated indigenous fruit trees with collecting the fruits from wild trees. Different scenarios are modelled to identify the rate and type of technical change and environmental degradation necessary that would encourage farmers to plant the trees. The theoretical paper has been presented at a conference.

Contact: Justus Wesseler

Efficient provision of natural areas and wilderness: property rights and management structures in a dynamic context

This project focuses on the efficiency and optimal incentive structures for the provision of nature conservation and nature development. For this purpose, the project devotes attention to the theory of public finance and the theory of club goods for the provision of local public goods, and compares systems of acquisition and management by the national government, including private ownership or combinations of both.

Contact: Martijn van der Heide

Economic Analysis of Deforestation in Developing Countries: The Case of Gum Belt in Sudan

This project contributes to the economic analysis on the causes and implications of tropical deforestation. More specifically, the objectives of the project is to increase insights in the underlying causes of gum belt deforestation, to explain farmer’s attitudes towards the deforestation problem and to identify motives for adopting and dis-adopting measures and practices for conservation and rehabilitation of the belt area. Specific attention will be paid to the analysis incentive structures, the role of population pressure and relocation of population and alternative policy instruments for sustainable agriculture and forestry in Sudan.The methodology is based on mico-economic models of the farmer behavior, survey on incentives, motives and attitudes of farmers with regard to various agricultural and forestry systems, and policy analysis from the perspectives of the stakeholders.

Contact: Afaf Rahim

Environmental economic modelling of biodiversity and agriculture

Agricultural intensification and land use change in the Netherlands have caused a rapid decline in many wild plant and animal species typical for Dutch agriculture. This project aims to develop a methodology to assess the efficiency of policies for biodiversity conservation in agricultural areas, and to analyze the trade off between production and biodiversity protection in a spatially explicit context.

Contact: Rolf Groeneveld

AEMBAC: Agri-environmental Measures for Biodiversity and Landscape Conservation

The overall objective of the AEMBAC-project is the definition of a common European analytical framework for the development of local agri-environmental programs for biodiversity and landscape conservation. The agri-environmental measures included in such a programme should provide incentives for the supply of environmental goods and services by farmers and for abandonment of unsustainable agricultural practices. The framework will be developed and tested using data from case-studies in seven European countries (Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Hungary and Estonia).

Contact: Erik Ansink

Weighting Multi-Purpose Trips in the Travel Cost Method

Within this research project we want to compare the efficiency of different methods of Multi-Criteria-Analysis (MCA) to correct for Multi-Purpose Trips (MPT) in travel cost estimations. The efficiency of the different methods will be compared using empirical data from Australia.

Contact: Timo Kuosmanen

Economic implications of the EU afforestation regulation EU 2080/92 for Calabria, Italy

This is a research project in collaboration with Valentina Tassone of the Reggio Calabria University. In this project the economic implications of the afforestation regulation 2080/92 of the EU are analyzed. In a first step private sector benefits are compared with societal benefits, including carbon sequestration given the current subsidy regime. Further modifications will include additional incremental social benefits from forestry under uncertainty. The comparison provides information about the net-social benefits of the program and highlights option for improvement.

Contact: Justus Wesseler

Farm-Household Income Analysis in Azerbaijan

The income of farm households of the Rayon Sagatala in Azerbaijan are analyzed to identify the most profitable production systems of farm-households, to compare the productivity between two agro-ecological zones and to compare household income between different agro-ecological zones and different income combinations.

Contact: Justus Wesseler

Optimal incentive methods to combine agriculture with preservation of wildlife and landscape

Contact: Nico Polman

Attitudes and the value of biodiversity

In this project a workshop is held to analyse which questions with regard to basic attitudes and values towards biodiversity in Benin, Bhutan, Costa Rica and The Netherlands play a role in the decision-making process. The project has resulted in the report Attitudes and the value of biodiversity.

Contact: Ekko van Ierland

Economic modelling of land use

In this project a number of economic approaches to the modeling of agricultural land use have been compared and a simple economic model has been applied to a data set on Java, Indonesia, that has been used for an empirical land use model by geographers, and that is representative of many spatial data sets at a regional scale.

Contact: Rolf Groeneveld

Valuation of forests in Leuven (Belgium)

Contact: Ekko van Ierland