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Journal of IntegratIve envIronmental ScIenceS , 2017 vol . 14, no . 1, 109–130 https://doi.org/10.1080/1943815X.2017.1400981 OPEN ACCESS Analysing Latin American and Caribbean forest vulnerability from socio-economic factors a,b a,b Rhys Manners and Consuelo Varela-Ortega Department of a gricultural economics, Statistics and Business management, universidad Politécnica de madrid, madrid, Spain; research c entre for the management of agricultural and environmental r isks (ceIgram), m adrid, Spain ABSTRACT ARTICLE HISTORY received 28 november 2016 Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) forest cover reduced by 9% from a ccepted 17 o ctober 2017 1990 to 2015, affecting biodiversity, climate change mitigation and ecosystem service functionality. These losses are caused by a myriad of KEYWORDS interconnected, interdependent and often socio-economic processes, Deforestation; socio- which forest vulnerability metrics largely ignore in their assessments. economic; vulnerability; To address this, we develop the Deforestation Vulnerability Index latin america; c aribbean (DVI) to identify spatial and temporal patterns of forest vulnerability from socio-economic processes. Composed of 13 socio-economic indicators, the DVI was applied to 24 LAC countries, and three provincial (sub-national) examples for the period 2000–2010. The DVI showed that vulnerability declined in more than 60% of countries, due to governance improvements and reductions in agricultural expansion. Provincial application of the index showed provinces to be more vulnerable than countries, due largely to higher economic dependence upon agriculture. Observed vulnerability reductions, whilst deforestation continues, may demonstrate a lag between socio- economic improvements and subsequent deforestation reductions, or the effects of omitted or unidentified vulnerability indicators. The DVI represents a simple, yet effective tool whose outputs could be used by policy-makers and stakeholders to source vulnerability at the scale of application, whilst assisting in directing reactive and responsive sustainable forest management strategies and decision-making. 1. Introduction Global forest area declined by 5.2% from 1990 to 2015 (FAO 2015a), however, this deforest- ation was not evenly distributed, with hotspots like Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) seeing losses of more than 9% during the same period (FAO 2015a). These forest losses have been linked with inhibited climate change mitigation potential (Smith et al. 2014; FAO 2015b), biodiversity losses (Peres et al. 2010; Pereira et al. 2012; Haddad et al. 2015), and degraded forest provisioned ecosystem services (Spracklen et al. 2012; Boysen et al. 2014; Brienen et al. 2015). CONTACT r hys manners email@example.com Supplementary material for this article can be accessed at https://doi.org/10.1080/1943815X.2017.1400981 © 2017 t he a uthor(s). Published by Informa uK limited, trading as t aylor & f rancis group. t his is an open a ccess article distributed under the terms of the creative c ommons a ttribution license (http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. 110 R . MANNERS AND C. VARELA-ORTEGA Deforestation follows temporal (Mather 1992; Köthke et al. 2013) and spatial patterns (Angelsen 2007), with the forces behind these patterns elegantly articulated as proximate causes and underlying drivers (Geist and Lambin 2002). Proximate causes being direct human activities such as agricultural (including pasture) expansion (Guida-Johnson and Zuleta 2013), expansion of infrastructure (Hosonuma et al. 2012) and wood extraction (Echeverria et al. 2008). Whereas underlying drivers are social processes that include but are not limited to: population growth (Scrieciu 2007), increased immigration (Huang et al. 2007), increased population density (Bonilla-Moheno et al. 2012), growth and globalisation of commodity markets (Asner et al. 2013), poor governance (Verburg et al. 2014), presence of democracy (Didia 1997), land tenure insecurity (Paneque- Gálvez et al. 2013) and agricultural technology development (Gasparri and Grau 2009). The consequences of long-term exposure of forests to these diverse and multi-scalar socio-economic processes are the deforestation rates high- lighted by the FAO (FAO 2015a). Turner et al. (2003) define vulnerability as the harm experienced from exposure to a hazard(s). Applying such a definition to the process of deforestation and its identified drivers and causes suggests the vulnerability of forests exposed to these processes. The importance of considering socio-economic factors and how their interactions drive forest vulnerability is important to improve our understanding of global forests (GIZ 2013; Varela-Ortega et al. 2014). Although metrics of forest vulnerability have been developed for hazards including climatic conditions (Allen et al. 2015; Mildrexler et al. 2016) and fire (Nurdina and Risdiyanto 2015; Amalina et al. 2016), they are not yet able to directly quantify and incorporate the vulnerability of forests to socio-economic processes in a singular indicator or metric. This suggests that the hazards of socio-economic processes upon forests have yet to be fully explored and quantified in terms of a singular metric. Beroya-Eitner (2016) highlights the utility of such indicator (and index) development in vulnerability research in providing con- cise and easily understood information. As a means of encouraging greater inclusion of socio-economic factors in forest vulner- ability research, we aim to develop a socio-economic based indicator: the Deforestation Vulnerability Index (DVI). This index will be applied to LAC countries due to: the high levels of deforestation seen there over multiple decades, the global importance of these forests for ecosystem service functionality, and the wealth of available deforestation literature ded- icated to this region. Following Kissinger et al. (2012) and their insistence on the importance of analysing deforestation at multiple scales, we will apply the index at the national scale and on three sub-national (provincial) examples. Application at multiple scales and periods will demonstrate the spatial and temporal potential of the DVI for highlighting patterns of vulnerability derived from exposure to socio-economic processes, whilst establishing the potential of the index as tool for facilitating reactive policy and decision-making for forest management. 2. Material and methods A schematic representation of the methodology applied in the development of the DVI is presented in Figure 1. The DVI follows a standardised method of index calculation (García de Jalón et al. 2014; Naumann et al. 2014). JOURNAL OF INTEGRATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES 111 Figure 1. methodology applied in the development of the Deforestation v ulnerability Index. 2.1. Identification of factors responsible for forest vulnerability We concentrated our analysis and the development of the index using socio-economic drivers or causes of deforestation previously identified within LAC countries. To identify potential indicators of vulnerability, an extensive literature review was performed covering over 100 peer-reviewed articles that considered the factors and processes behind deforest- ation in LAC countries ( Table 1). These factors and processes were then incorporated, where possible, as indicators within the index. The identification of indicators was further enriched using information gathered during local stakeholder workshops performed in 2013 (Varela-Ortega et al. 2014) in the Province of Guarayos (Bolivia), Tapajós National Forest (Brazil), and Cuitzmala River Basin (Mexico) as part of the EU funded project ROBIN (Role Of Biodiversity In climate change mitigatioN) (http://robinproject.info/home/). These workshops invited stakeholders (politicians, research- ers, technicians and local community groups) to describe and map local environmental and socio-economic changes using the qualitative and semi-quantitative integrated methodol- ogy Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping (Kosko 1986). In each workshop deforestation was identified as the most important process occurring within each area, with an array of factors and processes identified as drivers (Varela-Ortega et al. 2014). The inclusion of this stakehold- er-based information not only enriches the analysis by offering a multi-scale perspective of deforestation, but also demonstrates the potential and opportunity for incorporating stake- holder-derived information within the development of a vulnerability metric. Processes such as agricultural expansion, immigration, soybean demand, infrastructure expansion, unen- forced policy, and poor governmental coordination were identified by both the literature and stakeholders as causal factors of deforestation (Table 1). 112 R. MANNERS AND C. VARELA-ORTEGA Table 1. Drivers of deforestation identified from literature review, and enriched by findings from stakeholder workshops performed as part of the eu project roBIn (varela-ortega et al. 2014). Literature review Local stakeholder workshops Examples of method- Driver/cause of Country(ies) where ologies used in identifi- Identified in stake - Country(ies) where deforestation Identified Scale of research Examples of articles cation holder workshop Identified a gricultural expansion argentina, Bolivia, Brazil national, Provincial, macedo et al. 2012; gIS analysis, field survey, Y Bolivia, Brazil and (incl. grazing expansion) müller et al. 2012; census analysis, mexico r ichards et al. 2012; econometric analysis guida-Johnson and Zuleta 2013; Paneque- g álvez et al. 2013; verburg et al. 2014 c urrency exchange rates argentina Provincial g asparri and grau 2009 gIS analysis n economic development Bolivia, Brazil, Peru Provincial rudel and roper 1997; f ield survey, gIS analysis n angelsen and Kaimowitz 1999; Killeen et al. 2008; Southworth et al. 2011; aide et al. 2013 education level Belize, Haiti, mexico national chowdhury 2006; c ommunity survey, Y mexico alix- g arcía 2007; econometric analysis Dolisca et al. 2007; Wyman and Stein 2010 exchange rates/ c urrency Bolivia, Paraguay national r ichards et al. 2012 economic model n values f orest cover Panama l ocal rudel and roper 1997; gIS survey, household n Sloan 2008 survey g old prices Peru l ocal Swenson et al. 2011 gIS analysis n Immigration Bolivia, Brazil Provincial f earnside 2001; Policy review, gIS Y Bolivia Steininger et al. 2001; analysis Killeen et al. 2007 Infrastructure Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Provincial Wyman and Stein 2010; gIS analysis, census Y Brazil, mexico development Peru Southworth et al. 2011; analysis, f ield analysis, Bottazzi and Dao 2013; community surveys Perz et al. 2013; Barber et al. 2014 JOURNAL OF INTEGRATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES 113 International soybean argentina, Brazil l ocal, Provincial Zak et al. 2008; g asparri economic modelling, gIS Y Brazil, mexico demand and grau 2009; Walker analysis, and literature et al. 2009; Barona et al. review 2010; arima et al. 2011; verburg et al. 2014 land prices c osta r ica Provincial roebeling and Hendrix economic modelling n land tenure Bolivia, Brazil, ecuador, Provincial, national liscow 2013; Paneque- c ensus analysis, Y Bolivia n icaragua, Peru g álvez et al. 2013; Perz community survey, et al. 2013; Holland et econometric analysis, al. 2014 gIS analysis mismanaged and Bolivia, Brazil, mexico l ocal, Provincial Durán et al. 2011; redo et economic modelling Y Bolivia, Brazil unenforced policy al. 2011 and verburg et field survey, gIS al. 2014 analysis Population density Brazil, c olombia, mexico l ocal, Provincial armenteras et al. 2006; gIS analysis n Kirby et al. 2006; Bonilla-moheno et al. Population growth argentina, Brazil, Haiti, Provincial cropper and griffiths economic modelling, Y Brazil mexico 1994; angelsen and community survey, gIS Kaimowitz 1999; analysis Dolisca et al. 2007; Porter- Bolland et al. 2007; grau et al. 2008; Perez-verdin et al. 2009 Poor/ uncertain policy c ontinent wide Provincial, national, f earnside 2001; c ulas econometric analysis Y mexico c ontinental 2007; Zwane field survey, gIS 2007; g asparri and analysis, household grau 2009; redo et al. survey policy review 2011; Paneque- g álvez et al. 2013 Weak and poorly c ontinent wide Provincial, c ontinental Bulte et al. 2007; c ulas gIS analysis, field survey, Y Bolivia, Brazil co-ordinated 2007; Barsimantov and econometric analysis g overnmental navia- antezena 2012 institutions 114 R. MANNERS AND C. VARELA-ORTEGA 2.2. Selection of national indicators and data collection National data were sourced for 24 countries including all Latin American countries, with the exception of French Guiana due to a lack of data, and the bigger island nations of the Caribbean. Data were sourced from the FAO, the UNDP and the World Bank for the years 2000, 2005 and 2010 (coinciding with releases of the FAO: Forest Resource Assessment). The use of such international sources of data ensures: consistency, that the results can be repli- cated, and that the methodology can be reproduced and expanded when new data becomes available. Thirteen factors and processes were included as indicators of vulnerability within the index (Table 2). Indicators were chosen based upon data consistency and availability, accounting for why only a limited number of potential indicators identified in Table 1 were included. 2.2.1. Provincial scale index development To test its multi-scalar applicability, the DVI was also applied on 3 provincial scale examples (coinciding with the provinces of the ROBIN stakeholder workshops): the Department of Santa Cruz (Bolivia), the State of Pará (Brazil) and the State of Jalisco (Mexico). Where possible, indicators used in the provincial index were identical to those of the national index (Table 2). GDP (Price Purchasing Parity) per capita was unobtainable at the provincial scale; therefore we used provincial GDP (constant 2005 USD (United States Dollar)) data. National governance data were applied at the provincial scale, as no sub-national data were available. The majority of available provincial data were found to be for the period 2008–2011. To address this, we developed the provincial index only for the year 2010. To compare provincial and national results we also collected national scale data for the aforementioned provincial index indicators. Data were collected for all 24 countries. To Table 2. list of 13 indicators of vulnerability selected for the index. Indicators selected based upon lit - erature review, stakeholder workshops, and data availability. land area defined as total country area minus standing water. Indicator Description Source gross Domestic Product ( gDP) per c apita Per capita value of products and services World Bank Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) produced growth in agriculture value added to gDP annual value added to gDP from agricultural World Bank sector Soybean production value (1000 uSD) Soy production multiplied by national producer fao Stat prices f orest area Percentage of total national land area fao Stat a gricultural area (incl. pastures) Percentage national land area devoted to fao Stat agriculture a gricultural area growth (incl. Pastures) annual expansion in area devoted to o wn f ormulation agricultural Population density People/sq.km of land area World Bank Population growth annual national population growth World Bank Human development index Health, education and standard of living factors unDP Political stability Probability of political instability and violence World Bank g overnment effectiveness Quality of public services, the civil service and World Bank its independence regulatory quality f ormulation and implementation of sound World Bank policies and regulations road density (km/100km2) r atio of the length of the country’s road World Bank network to the country’s land area JOURNAL OF INTEGRATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES 115 reduce the potential of exaggerated vulnerability results stemming from normalisation (see Section 2.3) over a small data-set (3 provinces and 3 countries), we normalised the provincial index indicator data using data for all 24 countries and the 3 provinces. Comparative analysis between national and provincial results is presented only between the 3 analysed provinces, and their respective countries. Provincial data were sourced from national censuses or statistical data banks, including: the Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE 2011) of Bolivia, Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatistica (IBGE 2010) of Brazil, the Instituto Nacional de Estadistica y Geografia (INEGI 2010) and Servicio de Información Agroalimentaria y Pesquera (SIAP 2010) of México. National data were sourced from the UNDP, World Bank, and FAO. 2.3. Calculating the forest vulnerability index The 13 indicators selected for developing the index (Table 2) were normalised to ensure identical value ranges (0–1). Normalisation of indicators (Equation 1) considered the maxi- mum and minimum value of each indicator across all countries (and provinces). Where Rx is the normalised value of vulnerability contributed by the ith indicator in country ij x − Min x ij i Rx = (1) ij (Max x − Min x ) i i j, x is the non-normalised numerical value of the ith indicator in the jth country, and Min ij and Max x are the minimum and maximum values of the ith indicator across all countries. From both the literature and workshops, it was clear that increases in certain factors have inhibitory effects upon deforestation: Human Development Index (HDI) (Jha and Bawa 2006; Varela-Ortega et al. 2014), GDP per Capita (PPP) (Angelsen and Kaimowitz 1999; Kerr et al. 2004; Varela-Ortega et al. 2014), political stability (Fearnside 2003; Rodrgiues-Filho et al. 2015), governmental effectiveness (Didia 1997; Redo et al. 2011; Barsimantov and Navia- Antezena 2012; Varela-Ortega et al. 2014), and regulatory quality (Verburg et al. 2014; FAO 2015b). Therefore, to incorporate these potentially inhibitory effects, these indicators were normalised as shown in Equation 2. x − Min x ij i Rx = 1 − (2) ij Max x − Min x i i Where Rx is the normalised value of vulnerability contributed by the ith indicator in country ij j, 1− inverts the normalised values to put them on the same scale as in Equation 1, so that higher values represent higher vulnerability, x is the non-normalised numerical value of the ij ith indicator in the jth country, and Min and Max x are the minimum and maximum values of the ith indicator across all countries. All normalised indicator values (Rx ) ranged from 0 (lowest vulnerability) to 1 (highest ij vulnerability). The final index was calculated using Equation 3, where each normalised indi- cator value (Equations 1 and 2) was multiplied by a respective indicator weight, with the sum of these 13 weighted indicator values providing the national (and provincial) vulnera- bility value. DVI = Rx W j ij l (3) i=1 116 R. MANNERS AND C. VARELA-ORTEGA Where DVI is sum of all weighted indicators in jth country, Rx W is the weighted vulnerability j ij l contributed by the ith normalised indicator in the jth country, multiplied by the lth weighting scheme. 2.4. Weighting the index Arrow (1963) suggests that there remains to be one recognised means of weighting an index. To address this, we applied two weighting schemes (expert and stakeholder). The expert weight was developed from a survey completed by 22 experts from the ROBIN project, which requested judgment on a scale of 1–5 the weight of influence that each indicator (Table 2) has in relation to deforestation. The expert weight was applied to both the national and provincial indices, as surveyed experts were familiar with the provinces included within the analysis, as well as the wider scale processes behind deforestation across LAC countries. The stakeholder weight was developed from the stakeholder workshops of ROBIN ( Varela- Ortega et al. 2014), with those factors identified and linked to deforestation forming the foundation of this weight. We used the number of times a factor was mentioned as driving deforestation in each workshop, multiplied by this factor’s relative importance in relation to deforestation (based upon stakeholder voting) ( Varela-Ortega et al. 2014). These values were then converted into a proportion of the sum values for the 13 indicators. Using this meth- odology we developed three stakeholder weights, one for each province. As part of the provincial index these stakeholder weights were only applied to the province and country where they were developed. We also developed and applied an equal weight, which gave each indicator the same proportional weight of 0.08 (1 divided by 13). However, the results from this weighting were not found to be statistically different (p = 0.89) from the expert weight, therefore the results are not presented. The weighted DVI values are relative for all countries, ranging from 0–1 with 0 representing no vulnerability, and 1 extreme. Jenks natural breaks were used (Jenks 1967) in defining 5 categories of vulnerability: low (0–0.22), moderate (0.22–0.35), vulnerable (0.35–0.45), high (0.45–0.54) and extreme (0.54–1). 2.5. Robustness and sensitivity of the index The robustness of the DVI was assessed through sensitivity analysis, which evaluated how uncertainty in input indicators propagated through the structure of the index (OECD 2008). The main source of uncertainty within the DVI was the method of weighting and how this might affect the output. Thus, the sensitivity analysis focused on the uncertainty associated with weighting by assessing its impact on the DVI result. A series of Monte Carlo experiments were performed to assess the contribution of uncer- tainty to the variance in the final index values. The sensitivity of the index to the weighting was performed by computing 1000 outputs of the index using random weights generated from probabilistic density functions within the index calculation (García de Jalón et al. 2014; Naumann et al. 2014). This analysis was performed only for 2010 data. JOURNAL OF INTEGRATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES 117 3. Results 3.1. Indicator weighting results The results from the expert survey (Table 3) found that experts consider governance indi- cators, agricultural growth, and road density as the most influential indicators in driving deforestation. Results from the stakeholder weight show similar findings with governance indicators and agricultural area growth found to be particularly important. 3.2. The national index The DVI under expert weighing (Figure 2) suggests relative stability of vulnerability across most LAC countries from 2000–2010 (National DVI results available in Table S1). Despite this perceived stability, more than 60% of countries saw vulnerability decline, with Argentina, Costa Rica, Haiti, Honduras and Venezuela being notable exceptions. The analysis also revealed a continental wide spike in vulnerability in 2005 (Figure 2(b)), where more than 80% of countries saw vulnerability increase, before declining again (Figure 2(c)). The per- centage change in vulnerability during the period 2000–2010 is shown in Figure 2(d). This demonstrates that vulnerability reduced marginally in Amazonian countries including in Bolivia (−4%) and Brazil (−6%), whilst also highlighting the difference in vulnerability change in neighbouring countries. Chile (−44%) and Argentina (+29%) were found to be on the extremes of vulnerability change during the analysed period. To tease out the source of identified changes to vulnerability (Figure 2), Figure 3 presents the weighted vulnerability values for each of the 13 DVI indicators. The results for 2000 (Figure 3(a)) appear relatively evenly spread across the indicators, with governance and agricultural indicators being slightly elevated. For example, in Chile growth in agricultural value added to GDP contributed to vulnerability, whilst in Cuba regulatory quality contrib- uted most to vulnerability, and in Jamaica road density contributed most heavily. In 2005 (Figure 3(b)), the continental wide increase in vulnerability is observed, and can be sourced Table 3. results from expert survey and stakeholder workshops. t hese results were applied as weights within the Deforestation vulnerability Index. expert weights derived from surveys sent to experts from the roBIn project, and stakeholder weights from stakeholder workshops performed as part of the roB- In project. values have been transformed to be proportions of 1. Indicator Expert weight Stakeholder weights Bolivia Brazil Mexico gDP per c apita (PPP) 0.08 0.00 0.01 0.01 growth in agriculture value added to gDP 0.07 0.00 0.05 0.05 Soybean production value 0.08 0.00 0.01 0.05 f orest area 0.07 0.00 0.00 0.01 a gricultural area 0.06 0.00 0.00 0.00 a gricultural area growth 0.09 0.22 0.03 0.14 Population density 0.07 0.00 0.00 0.00 Population growth 0.08 0.00 0.02 0.00 Human development index 0.08 0.04 0.01 0.05 Political stability 0.07 0.00 0.00 0.00 g overnment effectiveness 0.08 0.19 0.53 0.57 regulatory quality 0.09 0.55 0.31 0.07 road density 0.09 0.00 0.03 0.05 118 R. MANNERS AND C. VARELA-ORTEGA (a) (b) 2000 2005 Low Moderate Vulnerable High Extreme (c) (d) 2010 % Change 2000−2010 −45 − −10 −10 − 0 0 − 5 5 − 15 15 − 30 Figure 2. Deforestation v ulnerability Index (DvI) results for latin american and c aribbean countries using expert weighting. (a) DvI outputs for the year 2000. (b) DvI outputs for the year 2005. (c) DvI outputs for the year 2010. (d) Percentage change in DvI outputs from 2000–2010. to agricultural area growth (with changes in Honduras being particularly great), along with changes to the governance indicators, specifically regulatory quality. The tail of the vulnerability spike can be seen in Figure 3(c), with agricultural area growth lower than in both 2000 and 2005 (exceptions include Suriname), coupled with simultaneous reductions in vulnerability from governance indicators. 3.3. The provincial index The results of the provincial DVI are shown in Figure 4, where in each province vulnerability under both weighting schemes was higher than the national results. Despite provinces being JOURNAL OF INTEGRATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES 119 (a) GDP per Capita (PPP current international USD) Growth in Agricultural Value Added to GDP (%) Soybean Producer Value (1000 USD) Forest Area (% of Land Area) Agricultural Area (% of Land Area) Agricultural Area Growth (%) Population density (people/km2 of Land Area) Population Growth (%) Human Development Index Political Stability Government Effectiveness Regulatory Quality Road Density (km/100km2) (b) GDP per Capita (PPP current international USD) Growth in Agricultural Value Added to GDP (%) Soybean Producer Value (1000 USD) Forest Area (% of Land Area) Weighted Vulnerability Agricultural Area (% of Land Area) 0.075 Agricultural Area Growth (%) Population density (people/km2 of Land Area) 0.050 Population Growth (%) 0.025 Human Development Index 0.000 Political Stability Government Effectiveness Regulatory Quality Road Density (km/100km2) (c) GDP per Capita (PPP current international USD) Growth in Agricultural Value Added to GDP (%) Soybean Producer Value (1000 USD) Forest Area (% of Land Area) Agricultural Area (% of Land Area) Agricultural Area Growth (%) Population density (people/km2 of Land Area) Population Growth (%) Human Development Index Political Stability Government Effectiveness Regulatory Quality Road Density (km/100km2) Figure 3. Weighted vulnerability values for the Deforestation v ulnerability Index (DvI) indicators under expert weighting. (a) Indicator vulnerability for the year 2000. (b) Indicator vulnerability for the year 2005. (c) Indicator vulnerability for the year 2010. Bluer colours represent greater weighted vulnerability. Argentina Belize Bolivia Brazil Chile Colombia Costa.Rica Cuba Dominican.Republic Ecuador El.Salvador Guatemala Guyana Haiti Honduras Jamaica Mexico Nicaragua Panama Paraguay Peru Suriname Uruguay Venezuela..RB. Argentina Belize Bolivia Brazil Chile Colombia Costa.Rica Cuba Dominican.Republic Ecuador El.Salvador Guatemala Guyana Haiti Honduras Jamaica Mexico Nicaragua Panama Paraguay Peru Suriname Uruguay Venezuela..RB. Argentina Belize Bolivia Brazil Chile Colombia Costa.Rica Cuba Dominican.Republic Ecuador El.Salvador Guatemala Guyana Haiti Honduras Jamaica Mexico Nicaragua Panama Paraguay Peru Suriname Uruguay Venezuela..RB. 120 R. MANNERS AND C. VARELA-ORTEGA in many cases within the same vulnerability category as the national results, the actual DVI values were distinct (See Table S2). Application of the stakeholder weight (Figure 4(b)) results in a notable increase in vulnerability compared with the expert weight (Figure 4(a)). In Bolivia, application of the stakeholder weight increased vulnerability by two categories compared to the expert weight, whilst for the department of Santa Cruz it increased by one, showing the differential effects of the two weighting schemes. In Jalisco, vulnerability increased by a single vulnerability category, compared to the expert weight. Under expert weighting (Figure 4(a)) each province was found to be at least 15% more vulnerable than the national value. Whereas, under stakeholder weighting (Figure 4(b)) Pará was found to be 9% more vulnerable than Brazil, Jalisco 22% more than Mexico and Santa Cruz 24% more than Bolivia. National results for Figures 2 and 4 differ slightly due to use of different GDP data (see Methods). Sources of vulnerability in the provincial index are shown in Figure 5, under expert weight- ing (Figure 5(a)) and stakeholder weighting (Figure 5(b)). Under expert weighting (Figure 5(a)), vulnerability across the provinces and countries is concentrated in agricultural area growth, especially for Santa Cruz and Pará. GDP also contributes heavily to vulnerability in Bolivia, Santa Cruz, and Pará suggesting the impacts of relatively weak national and provincial economies, with Santa Cruz also especially vulnerable to high population growth rates. As with the results demonstrated in Figure 3, vulnerability can also be attributed to poor gov- ernance factors with political stability especially important in Mexico (and Jalisco), whilst (a) (b) Low Moderate Vulnerable High Extreme Figure 4. Provincial Deforestation v ulnerability Index (DvI) values for the year 2010. results presented are for analysed provinces (Pará, Santa cruz, and Jalisco) and their respective countries, under the conditions and data of the provincial index. national results developed using national data for provincial index indicators. DvI indicator values were normalised using all 24 countries’ and 3 provinces’ data to reduce exaggerated results. only analysed provinces and their respective countries are presented as stakeholder weighting could not be generated for all 24 countries. (a) DvI for selected provincial examples and their respective countries under expert weighting. (b) DvI for selected provincial examples and their respective countries under stakeholder weighting. JOURNAL OF INTEGRATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES 121 (a) GDP (constant 2005 USD) Growth in Agricultural Value Added to GDP (%) Soybean Producer Value (1000 USD) Forest Area (% of Land Area) Agricultural Area (% of Land Area) Weighted Vulnerability 0.08 Agricultural Area Growth (%) 0.06 Population density (people/km2 of Land Area) 0.04 0.02 Population Growth (%) 0.00 Human Development Index Political Stability Government Effectiveness Regulatory Quality Road Density (km/100km2) (b) GDP (constant 2005 USD) Growth in Agricultural Value Added to GDP (%) Soybean Producer Value (1000 USD) Forest Area (% of Land Area) Agricultural Area (% of Land Area) Weighted Vulnerability Agricultural Area Growth (%) 0.3 Population density (people/km2 of Land Area) 0.2 0.1 Population Growth (%) 0.0 Human Development Index Political Stability Government Effectiveness Regulatory Quality Road Density (km/100km2) Figure 5. Weighted vulnerability values for provincial Deforestation v ulnerability Index (DvI) indicators. (a) Indicator vulnerability under expert weighting. (b) Indicator vulnerability under stakeholder weighting. Bolivia Santa.Cruz Brazil Para Mexico Jalisco Bolivia Santa.Cruz Brazil Para Mexico Jalisco 122 R. MANNERS AND C. VARELA-ORTEGA regulatory quality contributes to forest vulnerability in Bolivia (and Santa Cruz). In contrast, the results from the stakeholder weighting (Figure 5(b)) highlight that vulnerability concen- trates in governmental effectiveness and regulatory quality for all countries and provinces, with agricultural area growth to a lesser extent also an important contributor. 3.4. Robustness and sensitivity analysis results The sensitivity analysis helped to identify the robustness of the national index to the appli- cation of random weights, whilst identifying the sensitivity of countries to weighting using Monte Carlo analysis (Figure 6). In general, the values of the DVI show similar levels of dis- persion for each country, with most countries having DVI values around 0.4. Haiti and Chile represent the extremes of the DVI. The overlaid dots represent the outputs values from the DVI for each country under expert weighting for the year 2010, which are located near the median of the Monte Carlo analysis, and are entirely within the 25–75 percentiles. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) on the results from Figure 6 found that national DVI values were significantly different (p = <0.001). Furthermore, application of pairwise t-tests to all country combinations demonstrated that the majority are significantly different (See Table S3). The results of Belize and Bolivia (p = 0.69) and Guyana and Suriname (p = 0.66) were amongst the handful found not to be significantly different. 4. Discussion We have highlighted the potential for the development and application of a robust metric for spatially and temporally quantifying forest vulnerability to socio-economic factors across Latin America and Caribbean countries during the period 2000–2010. Application of the DVI 1.0 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0.0 Figure 6. estimation of the sensitivity of the Deforestation v ulnerability Index DvI using random weights from 1000 monte c arlo tests for the year 2010. o verlaid blue dots represent national DvI results under expert weighting. DVI Value Argentina Belize Bolivia Brazil Chile Colombia Costa.Rica Cuba Dominican.Republic Ecuador El.Salvador Guatemala Guyana Haiti Honduras Jamaica Mexico Nicaragua Panama Paraguay Peru Suriname Uruguay Venezuela..RB. JOURNAL OF INTEGRATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES 123 also demonstrated how both expert and stakeholder derived information can be incorpo- rated in such a metric. Application of the DVI across LAC countries highlighted widespread decreases in vulner- ability from 2000 to 2010. These declines were sourced to reductions in agricultural area growth and improvements in governance. Nepstad et al. (2014), Rodrgiues-Filho et al. (2015), and Gibbs et al. (2015) all demonstrate how such governance improvements, coupled with social and supply chain initiatives have been implicated in long-term trends of reduced deforestation, and limiting agricultural area growth. Müller et al. (2014) and Hoiby and Zenteno-Hopp (2014) suggest that little progress can be made in conserving forests if policies are subject to poor governance or if policy conflicts exist, highlighting the fundamental importance of strong governance. The findings from the DVI suggest that political focus on improved governance could offer a route for reducing global vulnerability and deforestation. However, before up-scaling our continental specific findings to a global context, it would be necessary to spatially expand the DVI to a global scale. Such expansion could help to clarify whether the identified trends are continentally specific, or are indicative of global vulnerability trends. Furthermore, it could help to highlight whether vulnerability indicators are globally consistent in terms of their importance, whilst offering an important point of comparison with other regions suf- fering high levels of deforestation. A further product of the DVI was the identification of a vulnerability peak in 2005, attrib - uted to a continent wide reduction in governmental efficacy, political stability and regulatory quality ( World Bank 2013). Analysis of election data offers a potential explanation, with the period 2004–2006 seeing continent wide legislative or presidential elections (University of Texas 2010). Electoral periods have been previously characterised by increased deforestation, where deforesters anticipate that elections will bring relaxation in enforcement and or amnesties for previous deforesting (Fearnside 2003; Rodrgiues-Filho et al. 2015). This peak may be further explained by a wide-scale increase in agricultural area growth, which could be associated in many cases to soy price increases seen cross the continent in 2004, which may have encouraged greater soy production and conversion of forest to croplands in 2005, consistent with previous links between commodity markets, prices, and deforestation (Zak et al. 2008; Gibbs et al. 2010). The multi scale application of the DVI supports not only the concept of complexity and variability at sub-national levels (Simane et al. 2016), where provincial examples showed disparate vulnerability compared to the national results, but also the multi-scalar flexibility of the methodology. Both Pará (Brazil) and Santa Cruz (Bolivia) are found on the agricultural frontier and can be characterised as having high levels of economic dependence upon agricultural activities (IBGE 2010; INE 2011). This may explain why in these provinces vulner- ability was found to be considerably higher than the national value, with economic alterna- tives to agriculture being limited and higher rates of population growth placing greater pressure on provincial forests. Smith et al. (2014), OBT (2014), and FAO (2015a) all observe that reducing/stabilising deforestation rates have been identified across LAC. The FAO (2015b ) observe that rates of forest losses have reduced by more than 50% since 1990, accounted for by improved mon- itoring, reporting, planning and stakeholder management. However, the identified declines in vulnerability are somewhat inconsistent to the observed, albeit reducing rates of, deforest- ation (FAO 2015a). A number of factors may have contributed to such differences. The 124 R. MANNERS AND C. VARELA-ORTEGA omission of indicators of vulnerability due to: a lack extensive data (i.e. land tenure), them falling outside of the scope of the analysis (i.e. physical characteristics like slope and aspect), or them not being identified ( Vincent 2004) may be accountable. Continual updating of the DVI with new data and indicators when they become available and are identified could help to reduce any potential effects of such omissions. Further, the use of generic weighting for all indicators across all countries may have further contributed. Additionally, these differences may also suggest the existence of a lag between improvements in socio-economic factors and their subsequent benefits in terms of reduced or halted deforestation. Improvements in governance, reductions in population growth or agricultural area growth may not be noted with immediate cessation of deforestation, but take time for the environmental ben- efits to be realised. The presence of such a lag may be supported by the FAO (2015a), where deforestation rates for the period 2010–2015 were found to have further declined in countries where vulnerability reduced during the period 2000–2010. Further investigation of the pres- ence of such a lag between socio-economic improvements and reduced deforestation could offer an interesting expansion of this analysis. The DVI does suffer from further limitations, primarily and inherent to most composite indices it analyses countries as uniform. The comparison between Chile with a developed and mature economy and Suriname with a relatively undeveloped and growing economy may be problematic. GDP for example has been identified to have a potential ‘Kuznets’ curve’ effect upon deforestation (Angelsen and Kaimowitz 1999). The DVI considered that higher GDP/capita is beneficial and reduces the vulnerability to deforestation, therefore ignoring its potential bell curve nature. Countries with relatively low GDP/capita were considered to be more vulnerable to deforestation as suggested by the literature (Angelsen and Kaimowitz 1999; Kerr et al. 2004), relative to richer countries. Despite these limitations, the DVI in its present state offers a simple, yet effective tool for providing easily understood information on spatial and temporal vulnerability trends. The DVI can be used as an aid for policy makers, forest managers, and stakeholders to identify and address the source(s) of forest vulnerability, whilst generating a more refined perspective of forests, facilitating management. Pretzsch et al. (2008) stress the utility of the toolbox approach when it comes to forest management, with diverse and interdisciplinary approaches aiding in decision-making. The DVI can be one such tool, directing reactive and responsive sustainable forest management strategies, tailored to and considerate of the socio-economic vulnerabil- ities identified by the DVI. Furthermore, the DVI reinforces the inappropriateness of ‘blueprint thinking’ (Ostrom and Cox 2010) when it comes to forest management, demonstrating that sources of vulnerability differ both temporally and spatially. These differences reinforce the need for specific and, where possible, localised management strategies to address vulnerability heterogeneity. The DVI further underscores the benefits of participatory approaches (Wollenberg et al. 2000). The inclusion of stakeholders in the DVI development offered new perspectives and emphasised the differences in opinion concerning the importance of pro - cesses driving deforestation, and their considerable effects on DVI outputs. The DVI results and its development demonstrate the benefits of the inclusion of expert and non-expert perspectives. Inclusion of multiple stakeholders could encourage collaborative informa- tion-led forest management decision-making (Achyar et al. 2015). Finally, the DVI could also be used in concert with other metrics of forest vulnerability (i.e. Amalina et al. 2016; Mildrexler et al. 2016), to provide a more detailed, better-resolved, multi-faceted and interdisciplinary image of global forests and their vulnerability, further facilitating forest management. JOURNAL OF INTEGRATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES 125 5. Conclusions The DVI has demonstrated the potential for identifying spatial and temporal patterns of forest vulnerability to deforestation stemming from socio-economic factors and processes. The index has shown small, but widespread reductions in vulnerability across Latin American and Caribbean countries, with heterogeneity in vulnerability seen at various scales of appli- cation. The index established that improvements in governance and reductions in the scale of agricultural expansion were responsible for such reductions. The potential existence of a lag between socio-economic improvements, demonstrated by reduced vulnerability, and subsequent reduced deforestation may help to explain why deforestation continues, albeit in declining rates, in countries with reducing vulnerability. The DVI offers a simple and effective tool for providing easily digested information on spatial-temporal vulnerability trends. It can be used as an aid for identifying the source of forest vulnerability at various scales, whilst directing reactive and responsive sustainable forest management strategies considerate of these socio-economic vulnerabilities. However, there still remains considerable scope for improvement, with greater inclusion of indicators and country specific weighting offering potential for future development, whilst global application could further refine the index and make more concrete global conclusions con- cerning socio-economic driven forest vulnerability. Note 1. The complete results of the equal weight analysis are available from the authors upon request. Disclosure statement No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors. Funding The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) [grant agreement number 283093] – The Role Of Biodiversity In climate change mitigatioN (ROBIN) (http://robinproject.info/home/); and the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid [grant number AL14-PID-12]. ORCID Rhys Manners http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0213-5462 References Achyar E, Schmidt-Vogt D, Shivakoti GP. 2015. Dynamics of the multi-stakeholder forum and its effectiveness in promoting forest fire management practices in South Sumatra, Indonesia. Envrion Dev. 13:4–17. Aide TM, Clark ML, Grau HR, López-Carr D, Levy MA, Redo D, Bonilla-Moheno M, Riner G, Andrade- Núñez MJ, Muñiz M. 2013. Deforestation and reforestation of Latin America and the Caribbean (2001–2010). 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Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences – Taylor & Francis
Published: Jan 1, 2017
Keywords: Deforestation; socio-economic; vulnerability; Latin America; Caribbean
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