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Optimal Individual Cash Transfers to Minimize Deforestation

Energy & Environment Brazil

Forests are essential for the income and subsistence of around 350 million people worldwide, many of whom are poor and live in communal lands. The project aimed to investigates how cash payments can minimize deforestation in communal lands. Researchers wanted to analyze data from Bolsa Verde, a 2012 policy in Brazil which pays US$150 to extremely poor families that live in environmental priority areas. From information on 103,000 families living in 511 conservation units, preliminary results suggested a correlation between units where more families received Bolsa Verde payment and less deforestation. The aim was to inform policy seeking to minimize deforestation and alleviate poverty, but the project was limited by data constraints.

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