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Anna Nordén has defended her PhD thesis: Essays on Behavioral Economics and Policies for Provision of Ecosystem Services

Anna Nordén & Peter Martinsson, one of her supervisors, during the PhD defence. Photo: Gabriella Wulff

Anna Nordén has defended her PhD thesis: Essays on Behavioral Economics and Policies for Provision of Ecosystem Services

Focali researcher Anna Nordén has conducted research on policies to reduce deforestation - mainly PES, payment for ecosystem services.

On the 24th of May 2013 the Focali researcher Anna Nordén successfully defended her PhD thesis: “Essays on Behavioral Economics and Policies for Provision of Ecosystem Services”. Anna Nordén´s PhD work assesses policies to reduce deforestation - mainly PES, payment for ecosystem services. She raises concerns about how effective these programs really are to curb deforestation and forest degradation. PES is built around the idea that landowners are compensated for replanting trees or for not clearing their forests. However as Anna Nordén said when she was interviewed, for her department´s homepage, about her PhD thesis:
- Human behavior is not always the expected, and short-term positive effects can turn out to be negative in the long term. 
 
With the climate targets and the demand to quantify avoided deforestation through PES – programs there is a push towards fast and clear results to show the role of PES in reduced emissions from avoided deforestation. The greatest effect of PES is said to occur when payments are provided to land-owners who clear a lot of forests and who would have continued to do so without PES. However this raise concerns about fairness of these programs since those who already limit their forest clearing are not compensated. By studying motivational aspects of the implementation of PES Anna Nordén have seen that PES can generate loss of motivation among land owners who are not receiving compensation. 
 
Increasing the availability of cash can even lead to unintended effects such as increased deforestation since it increases the ability of a poor landholder to make somebody else to cut trees. Anna Nordén is concerned about the narrow focus on PES programs in the climate change negotiations. Based on her research, in particular her and field research experiences on the implications of PES in Costa Rica, she has seen the limitations of too narrow policies to reduce deforestation. In the interview about her PhD thesis she states that: 
 - It is a bit naïve to believe that deforestation can be reduced with only one type of policy. My research highlights the evident need to complement [PES] with different types of tools and actions and to pay attention to the long term effects of PES.

Read more about Anna Nordén´s PhD work here
 
Read more about Anna Nordén here 
 
Anna Nordén

 
Besides the articles in her PhD thesis Anna Nordén has also written the Focali Brief 2012:02 “Realizing REDD+: what role for Payments for Environmental Services?”
 
Read the full interview with Anna Nordén, made by Department of Economics at Gothenburg University, that this article refers to. 
 

 

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