Roads, Lands, Markets, and Deforestation - A Spatial Model of Land Use in Belize

Chomitz, Kenneth M. and Gray, David A. (1995) Roads, Lands, Markets, and Deforestation - A Spatial Model of Land Use in Belize. Technical Report.

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    Rural roads promote economic development, but they also facilitate deforestation. To explore this tradeoff, this article develops a spatially explicit model of land use and estimates probabilities of alternative land uses as a function of land characteris- tics and distance to market using a multinomial logit specification of this model. Controls are incorporated for the endogeneity of road placement. The model is applied to data for southern Belize, an area experiencing rapid expansion of both subsistence and commercial agriculture, using geographic infor- mation system (GIS) techniques to select sample points at 1-kilometer intervals. Mar- ket access, land quality, and tenure status affect the probability of agricultural land use synergistically, having differential effects on the likelihood of commercial versus semisubsistence farming. The results suggest that road building in areas with agri- culturally poor soils and low population densities may be a “lose-lose” proposition, causing habitat fragmentation and providing low economic returns.

    Item Type: Technical Reports (Technical Report)
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      Publisher: World Bank
      Keywords: Belize deforestation road spatial model
      Subjects: (Z) Other or Unspecified
      Publication Sources: (3) Other Source > (3D) Other or Unspecified
      Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2010 06:00
      Last Modified: 27 Jan 2011 16:32

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