Environmental & Natural Resource Economics Seminar
“Deforestation in the Argentinean Chaco: governance aspects and actors perspectives” and “Wealth concentration, financialization and the expansion of flex-crops in the Global South”
Assistant Professor at the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern
Part 1: Deforestation in the Argentinean Chaco: governance aspects and actors perspectives
Presented by Graziano Ceddia and Elena Zepharovich (https://www.cde.unibe.ch/about_us/personen/zepharovich_elena/index_eng.html).
Abstract: The Dry Chaco, is the second largest tropical forest in the American continent after the Amazon and is undergoing a fast process of deforestation (with one of the fastesst rate in the world). The main proximate cause of deforestation is agricultural expansion, in order to produce agricultural commodities (e.g., soya and beef). The Argentinean portion of the dry Chaco, and the province of Salta in particular, is also home to indigenous peoples and small-scale subsistence farmers (criollos) who, as a result of the expansion of hte agricultural frontier, have been facing displacement and eviction. The region is characterized by high levels of conflictuality over the land use and land rights. In an attempt to regulate land use, the province of Salta has introduced a Forest Law in 2007 The project INCLUDE, funded by the ERC Consolidator Grant, addresses a number of issues. Firstly, it looks at the governance structure associated with the implementation of the Forest Law in the province of Salta. Secondly, it looks at the scope for adoption of sustainable land management practices among criollos farmers, so as to reduce potential land conflicts. Third, it looks at the perspectives of the various actors on the problem of deforestation.
Part 2: Wealth concentration, financialization and the expansion of flex-crops in the Global South
Presented by Graziano Ceddia
Abstract: The expansion of agricultual frontiers in the Global South remains the most important proximate cause of forest loss and habitat destruction. The convergence of environmental, financial and energy crises has spurred the interest in flex-crops (e.g., oil palm, soy beans, sugar cane), which can be flexibly deployed to supply both food, feed and non-food markets. An important driver of environmental degradation in general, including deforestation is the increasing concentration of wealth. Here I explore a particualr way in which wealth concentration may lead to deforestation in the Global South. Namely, following the low rate of returns on traditional financial assets, extremely wealthy individual have started to look at agriculture and flex-crops as an alternative form of investment. Thsi process entails the financialization of agriculture, whre investment in land are treated as pure financial assets. The hypothesis is tested by using publicly available data from various sources (e.g., FAOSTAT, OECD etc.), for the period 1991-2014 for 21 countries in Latin America and South-East Asia. The preliminary results, based on the use of dynamic panel data, suggest that investment in agriculture have been responsive to both wealth concentration and (to a lesser extent) to the declien on traditional financial rates of returns. Moreover, investment in agriculture have played an important role in the expansion of the flex-crops area in the considered countries.
Montpellier SupAgro / INRA - Bat. 26 - Salle Amérique
2 Place Viala 34000 Montpellier
Dates & time
Gwenolé Le Velly