Graduation Year

January 2013

Graduation Month

May

Document Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

School or Department

Economics

Faculty Mentor

Helen Naughton

Faculty Mentor Department

Economics

Faculty Reader(s)

Jeff Bookwalter

Keywords

international environmental agreements, deforestation, International Tropical Timber Agreements

Subject Categories

Agricultural and Resource Economics

Abstract

Between 1990 and 2005, the tropical nation Comoros lost approximately sixty percent of its nation’s forests to clear-cutting (NASA 2012). Although the starkest example of deforestation during that time period, Comoros’ loss of wilderness represents a long-standing trend among all tropical nations. The first of the International Tropical Timber Agreements (ITTA) was created in 1983 to reduce the rate of timber harvesting in tropical countries (ITTO 2012). Despite a second and third agreement in 1994 and 2006 respectively, deforestation continues. Treaties rarely garner complete compliance, and when they do not it is important to understand how and where they fail. If any more effort is to be placed on strengthening and renewing the ITTA in lieu of other approaches, governments ought to be well informed of the likely results and the necessary adaptations. This study utilizes timber exports to evaluate whether or not the ITTA have been effective. GDP, GDP per capita, and population are introduced as additional explanatory variables through econometric regression on panel data. The findings show inconclusive results for the 1983 ITTA, but that the 1994 ITTA was effective overall. It is important to note that effectiveness, in this study, is defined as member nations’ compliance with the terms of the ITTAs. The analysis of timber exports is limited to only those timber goods specifically mentioned in the ITTA documents themselves. The findings in this study suggest that while there has been a measure of success, there is still more work to be done. Overall, there should be significantly more research into the terms of the ITTAs and the impact of their implementation.

Honors College Research Project

Yes

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