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Economic analysis of adaptation options toward drought-induced risk of forest dieback : financial balance and/or carbon balance

Abstract : Forests are ecosystems that play an important role in the adaptation of the society to climate change. They provide ecosystem services that contribute to human well-being and reduce social vulnerability. Presently, the pace of climate change is accelerating too fast for the natural and spontaneous forest adaptation process to offset many negative impacts of climate-induced changes, such as increased frequency, duration, and intensity of mean and extreme natural events like severe drought events. In France, the extreme drought events of 1976, 2003 and 2018 caused great damage to the forest, both immediately and long after the drought episodes. Private owners can protect their forests through adaptation strategies. Different management-based adaptation strategies are recommended in order to improve the water consumption efficiency of the forest stand and thus its resistance to drought risk. Market-based strategies may be another option. Four types of adaptation strategies were tested and compared, from an economic perspective, in this thesis. These are: incremental (reduction of rotation length and reduction of stand density), transitional (composition diversification and structure diversification) and transformational (species substitution) management-based adaptation as well as a market-based adaptation (index-based insurance). For that purpose, outputs from forest growth models were used as inputs for forest economics analysis, and an index-based insurance model was developed and simulated. The main results of this thesis, for the considered case studies and under some assumptions, can be summarized as follows. First, the results proved that adaptation is a relevant strategy to mitigate drought-induced risk of dieback by the implementation of either management-based adaptation or market-based adaptation. Second, combining different management-based adaptation strategies appeared as a relevant way to adapt forests in a context of an increasing drought-induced risk of forest dieback. Indeed, the combination of different strategies was found to be more beneficial for the forest owner than each strategy implemented separately. However, not all adaptation options appeared effective, i.e., maladaptation. Finally, while forest insurance contracts covering drought-induced risk of forest dieback could be a relevant market-based option, small gains associated with current contracts are likely to prevent forest owners from adopting such insurance products.
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  • HAL Id : tel-03106885, version 1

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Sandrine Breteau-Amores. Economic analysis of adaptation options toward drought-induced risk of forest dieback : financial balance and/or carbon balance. Economics and Finance. Université de Lorraine, 2020. English. ⟨NNT : 2020LORR0158⟩. ⟨tel-03106885⟩

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