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EfD-CA Seminar Series with Kelly Wendland

An empirical evaluation of governance and land use outcomes in Russia and future research on conservation approaches and land use outcomes in the Mesoamerica.

"Institutions, people and the environment: An empirical evaluation of governance and land use outcomes in Russia and future research on conservation approaches and land use outcomes in the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor"

Identifying the causal drivers of land use outcomes is hindered by numerous confounding factors. Temporally rich datasets that exploit variations within countries or across political borders can help isolate these causal drivers. In this presentation I will present results from an econometric analysis that uses within-country variation in Russia to test the impact of decentralized governance on timber harvesting. This research uses a reduced form fixed-effects model and satellite-based estimates of forest cover. Results suggest a statistically significant and non-linear effect of governance on timber harvesting. Additionally, I will give an overview of a new project that will estimate the impact of conservation policies on forest and socioeconomic outcomes in the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor. This new study on the effectiveness of transboundary conservation areas will allow us to tease out information about why conservation approaches work in some areas but not in others.

Kelly Wendland is an Assistant Professor in ecosystem services economics at the University of Idaho. Trained as an economist, her research focuses on identifying the drivers of land use change, quantifying the value of ecosystem services, and measuring the impact of conservation and natural resource policies. Kelly draws on applied econometrics in her research, and whenever possible, collaborates with geospatial and natural scientists. Kelly holds a Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a M.S. from North Carolina State University, and a B.S. from Meredith College. She has worked for Conservation International, Research Triangle Institute, and the Land Tenure Center.