Index Insurance for Pro-Poor Conservation of Hornbills in Thailand

6 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2015

See all articles by Sommarat Chantarat

Sommarat Chantarat

Australian National University - Crawford School of Economics and Government

Christopher B. Barrett

Cornell University - Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management

Tavan Janvilisri

Cornell University

Sittichai Mudsri

Cornell University

Chularat Niratisayakul

Independent

Pilai Poonswad

Independent

Date Written: August 23, 2011

Abstract

This study explores the potential of index insurance as a mechanism to finance community-based biodiversity conservation in areas where a strong correlation exists between natural disaster risk, keystone species populations, and the well-being of the local population. We illustrate this potential using the case of hornbill conservation in the Budo-Sungai Padi rainforests of southern Thailand, using 16-y hornbill reproduction data and 5-y household expenditures data reflecting local economic well-being. We show that severe windstorms cause both lower household expenditures and critical nest tree losses that directly constrain nesting capacity and so reduce the number of hornbill chicks recruited in the following breeding season. Forest residents’ coping strategies further disturb hornbills and their forest habitats, compounding windstorms’ adverse effects on hornbills’ recruitment in the following year. The strong statistical relationship between wind speed and both hornbill nest tree losses and household expenditures opens up an opportunity to design wind-based index insurance contracts that could both enhance hornbill conservation and support disaster-affected households in the region. We demonstrate how such contracts could be written and operationalized and then use simulations to show the significant promise of unique insurance-based approaches to address weather-related risk that threatens both biodiversity and poor populations.

Keywords: weather risk management, poverty, safety net, sustainable conservation

Suggested Citation

Chantarat, Sommarat and Barrett, Christopher B. and Janvilisri, Tavan and Mudsri, Sittichai and Niratisayakul, Chularat and Poonswad, Pilai, Index Insurance for Pro-Poor Conservation of Hornbills in Thailand (August 23, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2628779 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2628779

Sommarat Chantarat

Australian National University - Crawford School of Economics and Government ( email )

7107 Coombs Building
Canberra, ACT 0200
Australia
612 6125 3756 (Phone)
612 6125 3700 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.schantarat.com

Christopher B. Barrett (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management ( email )

315 Warren Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-7801
United States
607-255-4489 (Phone)
607-255-9984 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://aem.cornell.edu/faculty_sites/cbb2/

Tavan Janvilisri

Cornell University ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

Sittichai Mudsri

Cornell University ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

Chularat Niratisayakul

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

Pilai Poonswad

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

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