Deforestation in Indonesia: The Politics of Land Use Change Post Suharto
AdvisorTaylor, M. Scott
Committee MemberMcKenzie, Kenneth J.
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractOver the past 25 years over 130 million hectares of natural forest land on our planet has been lost accelerating climate change and threatening the world’s most diverse ecosystems. Although the annual rate of global deforestation is half of what it was in the early 1990s it remains problematic in several regions of the world. Indonesia, for example, currently accounts for nearly 25% of global deforestation annually and has shown no signs of improvement. This thesis explores some of the key drivers of deforestation in Indonesia by making use of a rich dataset that tracks forest loss across eight years when Indonesia was undergoing political restructuring following the collapse of the Suharto dictatorship. Previous literature has pointed to the expansion in the number of political jurisdictions as a vehicle for increased political corruption which in turn could cause deforestation. The hypothesis is that when a new district is created there is increased competition for the sale of logging permits within a provincial wood market. This may incentivize district governments to issue more than the legal quota of permits consistent with Cournot-style competition. However, the data does not seem to line up with this argument. Instead, forest loss in Indonesia appears to be related to widespread forest fires caused by landowners for the purposes of clearing land primarily for palm oil plantations. The results from this thesis lay the groundwork for future research to focus on the determinants of growing demand for palm oil such as international trade.
CitationSharma, C. (2019). Deforestation in Indonesia: The Politics of Land Use Change Post Suharto (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.
University of Calgary graduate students retain copyright ownership and moral rights for their thesis. You may use this material in any way that is permitted by the Copyright Act or through licensing that has been assigned to the document. For uses that are not allowable under copyright legislation or licensing, you are required to seek permission.