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Oposa vs. Factoran

Environmental Economics
by Rafael Mirafuente on 15 September 2012

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Transcript of Oposa vs. Factoran

Intergenerational Equity and Natural Resource Management Oposa vs. Factoran Magsambol, Marella, Mirafuente, Sy, Tensuan, Wee An Environmental Economics Report Summary of the Case The Right to a Balanced and Healthful Ecology Inter Generational Responsibility Inter Generational Justice Filed against the DENR targeting Timber Licensing Agreements Not a contract Can be withdrawn aggregated to 3.89M, double the forest cover of 1.2M The state is bound to protect the right of the people to a healthy environment Atty. Antonio Oposa Importance of Forests Economic Development Indigenous Communities Flora and Fauna Watersheds Floods and Landslides Philippine Archipelago 7,100 islands
30,000 hectares
17% Forest Cover The desirable FOREST cover is 54% Collect and store rainfall Release water as runoff Venue for chemical reactions Protect soils, control water flows and cycles Sendong Reming The Philippine title as a biodiversity hotspot may be lost. Extinction of endangered flora and fauna species is sadly a very plausible scenario... The effects described before all have awful effects on the economy. Moreover, the mismanagement of harvesting these resources (such as timber) creates a loss of so many potential gains. Logging Negative Externalities Attitude of the Plaintiffs The plaintiffs are concerned with both long and short-run health effects resulting from deforestation an a damaged ecology. “[it] concerns nothing less than self-preservation and self-perpetuation, the advancement of which may even be said to predate all governments and constitutions”. “the minors' assertion of their right to a sound environment constitutes, at the same time, the performance of their obligation to ensure the protection of that right for the generations to come.” Environmental Economists Concerned with the loss of resources Having a proactive mindset Framework and Concepts Uses data from the DENR Two period resource allocation model Equity is the main theme, and not efficiency Intergenerational Equity Concepts and Doctrines Invoked Framework of Analysis Concerned with the government's role in ensuring and maintaining the supply-side of the forest resource. Timber License "...an instrument by which the State regulates the utilization and disposition of forest resources to the end that public welfare is promoted." Intergenerational Responsibility and Justice "...represented others of their generation as well as generations yet unborn." Self-Preservation and Perpetuation "Self-preservation is defined as the protection of oneself from harm while the self-perpetuation is perpetuating oneself without external agency or intervention." Theory of Justice John Rawls’ theory states that each person is to have equal rights to the most extensive basic liberty. These rights are supposed to be to everyone’s advantage. He denies that impinging onone’s freedom for the betterment of another’s is justified because one’s benefit must not be at the expense of another party’s. According to sociobiological theory, genetics and natural selection ultimately explain the entire range of human behavior, including the concern that we have for our offspring and descendants. Individuals, it is argued, act innately in ways which are genetically calculated to promote the survival and reproduction of their genes. (Weiss, 1984) Based on scientific and empirical grounds. Rights of the future are interwoven with the decisions by the current generation It is okay to extract scarce natural resources because human innovations will find an alternative. Data and Analysis Was the case able to reach its objective? The trend indicates that the forest areas that were apportioned to TLAs have decreased significantly over the years. Above is a graph showing the percent of land devoted to forests over time. Up until the 90's, the share of forests have been declining. Today, it has risen back to the 25% level. From the Forest Resources Assessment (UN):
Phils. forest cover grew from 2005-2010
From 7.2m hectares in 2003 to 7.7m hectares in 2010.
Many environmentalists blame irresponsible logging practices for the accelerated deforestation. There is no doubt that many of the holders of timber license agreements (TLAs) logged beyond the sustainable volume, practiced clearcutting, used heavy equipment during logging operations and road construction, and did not sufficiently protect logged-over areas after harvesting. The concessionaires were accused of having a “cut-and-run” attitude and setting bad examples for the slash-and-burn farmers (Generalao 2000). Rates Preservation and rehabilitation efforts must be greater than lambda; or consumptive activities must shrink. From the Environmental Science for Social Change, forests can grow up to 1%/year if the following conditions should be adopted:
Deforestation rate is reduced to 50,000 hectares/year
Forest management is devolved to the community level
TLAs are phased out
Infrastructure contribute to the welfare of communities (indigenous)
Conclusions and
Recommendations Liability rules are essential for society to function. By targeting government agencies, Mr. Oposa was able to reinforce the government's responsibility to uphold Filipinos' rights. As an intertemporal natural resource issue, the case was concerned with the equity between current and future generations (and not so much as a mere sentiment for forests). There are three related issues concerning forests and their management:
illegal logging, urbanization,
and a decentralized forest management
policy... Illegal logging is an issue of strong institutions. Despite having a strong legal system, the Philippines lacks the agencies needed to enforce and implement these statutes. Urbanization, coupled with population growth, places pressure on the forests since they can serve as income-generating assets and absorb the growing population. A centralized forest management policy could help provide the needed systems for the longevity of sustainable forest management.
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