The Economic Costs of Fire in the Amazon

IPEA Discussion Paper No. 912

42 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2003

See all articles by Ronaldo Seroa da Motta

Ronaldo Seroa da Motta

Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ)

Mario Jorge Cardoso Mendonca

Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA) - Directory of Macroeconomic Policy & Studies (DIMAC)

Daniel Nepstad

Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazônia (IPAM)

Maria del Carmen Vera Diaz

Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazônia (IPAM)

Ane Alencar

Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazônia (IPAM)

Ramon Arigoni Ortiz

University of Bath - Department of Economics

Abstract

Fire has been traditionally used by farmers as mean of land preparation and, therefore, benefiting agriculture and pasture. However, fire application may also generate private and social costs. This study attempts to measure these fire use costs in the Brazilian Amazon. Fire control can be lost and damage cultivated and pasture land and other farm's assets. Uncontrolled fire may also reach forestland leading to significant losses on forest services. Apart from that, fire smokes also increase respiratory disease incidence affecting people's health. Our study covered costs related to pasture accidental fire, losses on fences, carbon storage and health impacts. Our most conservative estimates indicate an average cost value of US$ 102 millions or around 0.2% of the region GDP during the 1996-1999 period. Depending on how carbon release is valued, this GDP percentage can be of up to 9%. Such figures are already indicating that there must be trade offs to be achieved in reducing, preventing or improving the use of fire in the region.

Note: The downloadable document is in Portuguese.

Keywords: Forest burning, Fire use cost, Carbon emission, Health damages, Panel data

JEL Classification: I1, O1, Q0, Q1, Q2

Suggested Citation

Seroa da Motta, Ronaldo and Cardoso Mendonca, Mario Jorge and Nepstad, Daniel and Diaz, Maria del Carmen Vera and Alencar, Ane A.C. and Ortiz, Ramon Arigoni, The Economic Costs of Fire in the Amazon. IPEA Discussion Paper No. 912, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=363401 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.363401

Ronaldo Seroa da Motta (Contact Author)

Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) ( email )

Av Borges de Medeiros 3709 ap 401
ap 401
Lagoa, 22470-001
Brazil
21997775494 (Phone)

Mario Jorge Cardoso Mendonca

Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA) - Directory of Macroeconomic Policy & Studies (DIMAC) ( email )

Av. Presidente Antonio Carlos 51
10 Andar Centro
Rio de Janeiro RJ 20020-010
Brazil

Daniel Nepstad

Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazônia (IPAM) ( email )

Avenida Nazaré 669
66035-170 Belém, Pará
Brazil
+55 91241-6700 (Phone)
+55 91241-6700 (Fax)

Maria del Carmen Vera Diaz

Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazônia (IPAM) ( email )

Avenida Nazaré 669
66035-170 Belém, Pará
Brazil

Ane A.C. Alencar

Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazônia (IPAM) ( email )

Avenida Nazaré 669
66035-170 Belém, Pará
Brazil

Ramon Arigoni Ortiz

University of Bath - Department of Economics ( email )

Claverton Down
Bath, BA2 7AY
United Kingdom

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