Incorporating Environmental Impacts of Afforestation in Project Appraisal: A Case Study of Western Himalayas, India

Devi D. Tewari
J. C. Nautiyal
Katar Singh

DOI: 10.2190/6YHE-KB33-NGUX-NTAT


Environmental impacts of forestry projects are often ignored in benefit-cost analysis (BCA), primarily due to lack of hard data on them. The valuation of environmental impacts and their inclusion in BCA is all the more important in developing countries where deforestation is causing a major environmental damage. In this article, a BCA is conducted for the community afforestation scheme in the Ramganga catchment in Western Himalayas of India. The article briefly reviews the various methods of valuing different environmental impacts of forestry projects with special reference to the scheme, and provides the social BCA of the scheme using a simple method of accounting for environmental impacts as suggested by some forest economists in situations where objective assessments of the same are not available. Results of the study suggest that social BCA helps improve the ranking of forestry projects under ceteris paribus conditions.

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