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Rahut D.B.,International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center | Ali A.,Socioeconomics Program | Behera B.,Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur
Forest Policy and Economics | Year: 2015

The objectives of the present study are to (1) identify and analyze the factors influencing household participation in community forest management programs, and (2) assess the effects of community participation in forest management on household income and poverty levels in Bhutan. The study is based on a comprehensive dataset of 4173 rural households from all the agro-ecological regions of Bhutan. The probit estimation on the factors influencing household participation indicates that educated, young and wealthy households are more likely to participate in the community forest management program. The propensity score matching (PSM) approach was employed to correct for potential sample selection bias that may arise due to systematic differences between the participant and non-participant households. The PSM analysis was carried out by employing different matching algorithms i.e. nearest neighbor matching, kernel-based matching, radius matching and mahalanobis metric matching. The empirical results indicate that participating households have higher income levels in the range of Ngultrum 2605-3169. In addition, the study finds that the participation in community forest management by households may reduce poverty in the range of 5-12 percentage point. The participating households have higher food security levels in the range of 12%-19% as compared to non-participating households. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Bagstad K.J.,U.S. Geological Survey | Semmens D.J.,U.S. Geological Survey | Waage S.,BSR | Winthrop R.,Socioeconomics Program
Ecosystem Services | Year: 2013

To enter widespread use, ecosystem service assessments need to be quantifiable, replicable, credible, flexible, and affordable. With recent growth in the field of ecosystem services, a variety of decision-support tools has emerged to support more systematic ecosystem services assessment. Despite the growing complexity of the tool landscape, thorough reviews of tools for identifying, assessing, modeling and in some cases monetarily valuing ecosystem services have generally been lacking. In this study, we describe 17 ecosystem services tools and rate their performance against eight evaluative criteria that gauge their readiness for widespread application in public- and private-sector decision making. We describe each of the tools' intended uses, services modeled, analytical approaches, data requirements, and outputs, as well time requirements to run seven tools in a first comparative concurrent application of multiple tools to a common location - the San Pedro River watershed in southeast Arizona, USA, and northern Sonora, Mexico. Based on this work, we offer conclusions about these tools' current 'readiness' for widespread application within both public- and private-sector decision making processes. Finally, we describe potential pathways forward to reduce the resource requirements for running ecosystem services models, which are essential to facilitate their more widespread use in environmental decision making. © 2013.

Rahut D.B.,International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center | Ali A.,Socioeconomics Program | Behera B.,Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur
International Journal of Sustainable Energy | Year: 2016

Use of dirty fuels such as fuelwood, charcoal, cow dung and kerosene is common in developing countries, which adversely affects the health of people living in the dwellings, especially children and women. Using the data from a comprehensive and nationally representative Bhutan Living Standard Survey 2012, the present study examines the effects of dirty fuels on human health and household health expenditure. The result from propensity score-matching approach indicate that households using dirty fuels have a higher incidence of respiratory disease by 2.5–3% compared to households using cleaner fuels. The chances of household contracting tuberculosis are higher for households using dirty fuel in the range of 5–6%. It is also observed that the incidence of eye diseases and health expenditures among households using dirty fuels is higher. Hence the policy should focus on providing access to clean sources of energy to wider population. © 2016 Taylor & Francis

Bagstad K.J.,U.S. Geological Survey | Semmens D.J.,U.S. Geological Survey | Winthrop R.,Socioeconomics Program
Ecosystem Services | Year: 2013

Although the number of ecosystem service modeling tools has grown in recent years, quantitative comparative studies of these tools have been lacking. In this study, we applied two leading open-source, spatially explicit ecosystem services modeling tools - Artificial Intelligence for Ecosystem Services (ARIES) and Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST) - to the San Pedro River watershed in southeast Arizona, USA, and northern Sonora, Mexico. We modeled locally important services that both modeling systems could address - carbon, water, and scenic viewsheds. We then applied managerially relevant scenarios for urban growth and mesquite management to quantify ecosystem service changes. InVEST and ARIES use different modeling approaches and ecosystem services metrics; for carbon, metrics were more similar and results were more easily comparable than for viewsheds or water. However, findings demonstrate similar gains and losses of ecosystem services and conclusions when comparing effects across our scenarios. Results were more closely aligned for landscape-scale urban-growth scenarios and more divergent for a site-scale mesquite-management scenario. Follow-up studies, including testing in different geographic contexts, can improve our understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of these and other ecosystem services modeling tools as they move closer to readiness for supporting day-to-day resource management. © 2013.

Beuchelt T.D.,Socioeconomics Program | Badstue L.,Socioeconomics Program
Food Security | Year: 2013

Future food and nutrition security is threatened by climate change, overexploitation of natural resources and pervasive social inequalities. Promising solutions are often technology-focused and not necessarily developed considering gender and social disparities. This paper addresses issues of gender and human development opportunities and trade-offs related to promoting improved technologies for agricultural development. We examined these aspects for conservation agriculture (CA) as part of a cropping system with nutrition- and climate-smart potential. The paper is based on a literature review and field experiences from Zambia and Mexico. Findings point up situations where the promotion of CA for smallholders in developing countries may have undesired effects from gender and human development perspectives, specifically relating to drudgery, nutrition and food security, residue use, assets, mechanization and extension. The direction and magnitude of potential trade-offs depend on the local context and the specific intervention. The analysis is followed by a discussion of opportunities and pathways for mitigating the trade-offs, including gender transformative approaches; engagement with alternative or non-traditional partners with different but complementary perspectives and strengths; "smart" combinations of technologies and approaches; and policies for inclusive development. © 2013 The Author(s).

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