End-of-Conflict Deforestation: Evidence From Colombia's Peace Agreement

37 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2019 Last revised: 29 May 2019

See all articles by Mounu Prem

Mounu Prem

Universidad del Rosario

Santiago Saavedra

Universidad del Rosario - Faculty of Economics

Juan F. Vargas

Universidad del Rosario

Date Written: May 28, 2019

Abstract

Armed conflict can endanger natural resources through several channels such as direct predation from fighting groups, but it may also help preserve ecosystems by dissuading extractive economic activities through the fear of extortion. The effect of conflict on deforestation is thus an empirical question. This paper studies the effect on forest cover of Colombia’s recent peace negotiation between the government and the FARC insurgency. Using yearly deforestation data from satellite images and a difference-in-differences identification strategy, we show that areas controlled by FARC prior to the declaration of a permanent ceasefire experienced a differential increase in deforestation after the start of the ceasefire. The deforestation effect of peace is attenuated in municipalities with higher state presence and judicial capacity, and is exacerbated by land intensive economic activities. Our results highlight the importance of complementing peacemaking milestones with state building efforts to avoid environmental damage.

Keywords: Deforestation, Conflict, Peace Building, Colombia

JEL Classification: D74, Q34

Suggested Citation

Prem, Mounu and Saavedra, Santiago and Vargas, Juan F., End-of-Conflict Deforestation: Evidence From Colombia's Peace Agreement (May 28, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3306715 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3306715

Mounu Prem (Contact Author)

Universidad del Rosario ( email )

Casa Pedro Fermín
Calle 14 # 4-69
Bogota
Colombia

Santiago Saavedra

Universidad del Rosario - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Casa Pedro Fermín
Calle 12C # 4-69
Bogota
Colombia

Juan F. Vargas

Universidad del Rosario ( email )

Calle 12 No. 6-25
Bogota, DC
Colombia

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