Since 2012, the environmental policy research group at ZEF is implementing the project “Shaping environmental policies for sustainable tropical forest bioeconomies”, funded by the Robert Bosch Foundation.
Tropical forests are both a potential source of new agricultural land and providers of globally and locally valued ecosystem services, i.e. competing objectives for both national governments and the international community. Increasing global demand for food and energy and the prospect of a forest conservation mechanism in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change represent major opportunities and challenges for bioeconomy development at tropical forest margins.
The project adopts an interdisciplinary policy research approach to addressing two crucial research gaps towards cost-effective and socially compatible environmental policies in the context of the Amazon region and beyond: (1) The role of alternative instrument design options in affecting policy cost-effectiveness and welfare impacts in spatially heterogeneous bio-physical and institutional settings, and (2), quantitative measures of the resulting scope for environmental policy choice and design given multiple tradeoffs among bioeconomy development objectives.
The project collaborates with research and implementation oriented partners in Latin America, Europe, the United States, and Indonesia.