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Abstract

This paper provides a numerical general equilibrium assessment of forestry policies aimed at the reduction of tropical deforestation in Cameroon. Four different policy measures are distinguished, namely the provision of more secure timber concessions, a rise in the minimum size of trees that can be harvested, the establishment of national parks, and a tax on forest land. In the model simulations, all instruments are calibrated so as to achieve a prespecified increase in the volume of standing timber. The achievement of the ecological target is mainly due to the fact that the policies prevent the agricultural conversion of some forest land. From an ecological perspective, more secure property rights for concessionaires are the preferred option, because they most effectively deal with the main problem in Cameroon, that is the extremely short rotation period which does not allow the forest to regenerate. All policies lead to a moderate decline in real GDP.

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