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Indonesias Moratorium on Palm Oil Expansion from Natural Forests: Economy-Wide Impacts and the Role of International Transfers

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Document pages: 28 pages

Abstract: Indonesia has introduced a moratorium on the conversion of natural forests to land used for palm oil production. Using a dynamic, bottom-up, interregional computable general equilibrium model of the Indonesian economy, we assess several scenarios of the moratorium and discuss its impacts on the domestic economy as well as on regional economies within Indonesia. We find the moratorium reduces Indonesian economic growth and other macroeconomic indicators, but international transfers can more than compensate the welfare losses. The impacts also vary across regions. Sumatra, which is highly dependent on palm oil and is home to forests that no longer have a high carbon stock, receives fewer transfers and suffers the greatest economic loss. Kalimantan, which is relatively less dependent on palm oil and has forests with a relatively high carbon stock, receives more transfers and gets greater benefit. This implies that additional policy measures anticipating the unbalanced impacts of the moratorium are required if the trade-off between conservation and reducing interregional economic disparity is to be reconciled.

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