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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Evaluating the role of financial institutions in monetizing forest ecosystem values : existing arrangements and the viability of new arrangements O'Loughnane, Guy

Abstract

Forests contain a multitude of values, many of which are incorporated within the existing economic system, allowing us to create an economic value for forests. These values compete with alternative land uses to ascertain which is the most economically efficient. The continued process of forest land use conversion indicates that existing monetized forest values are insufficient to prevent global deforestation. Recognition of the importance of previously un-monetized forest values, such as forest carbon for climate regulation and species habitation for global biodiversity levels, has stimulated efforts to incorporate these values within the existing economic system. Previous efforts to ‘ring fence’ these assets by regulatory means has met with limited success. The creation of market based incentive systems to monetize these forest values has gained increasing support over the years as policy makers seek to build on earlier successes. Adaptations within and creation of new institutions has been required in order to establish these market based incentive systems. Ensuring that the correct institutional arrangements exist is vital for their institutional effectiveness. This is of particular importance with regards existing institutions as concerns abound about their governance, transparency and accountability arrangements. This thesis focuses on large scale publicly owned international banks and identifies various weaknesses in existing institutional arrangement and seeks to ascertain whether they have the adaptive capacity to address these shortfalls. The thesis also studies the creation of an entirely new institution, the International Forest Bank, as a viable alternative to adaptation processes. Despite the many shortfalls in existing institutional arrangements an International Forestry Bank was found to be too aspirational and of too great a scale. The research concludes that research into the creation of a smaller more regional International Forestry Bank would be warranted.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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