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Subjects / Keywords: Costa Rica, Cuba, Forest Performance
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Abstract: This thesis examines democratic institutions in Costa Rica and Cuba and their impact on forestry policy and performance. This analysis consists of two case studies in which the process of the development of environmental and forest policies and reforms are traced. In this comparative study, the questions asked are: Are political institutional processes helping or hindering forestry management in Costa Rica and Cuba? If so, how? And, how does variation in political institutions affect the forestry management outcomes we observe? The Yale Environmental Performance Index indicates a prima facie puzzle with respect to the performance indicators for Costa Rica and Cuba. The study examines the role of the institutional processes in forest performance through a set of causal forces: societal influence, executive influence, and whose preferences. Despite different institutional processes, similar performance results are found. Additionally, this thesis illustrates the prioritization of forest performance goals when it is tied to preferences from society, the executive, and to some extent international organizations.
Statement of Responsibility: by Stephanie Cadaval
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2013
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
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Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Cadaval, Stephanie
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2013
Publication Date: 2013


Subjects / Keywords: Costa Rica, Cuba, Forest Performance
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: This thesis examines democratic institutions in Costa Rica and Cuba and their impact on forestry policy and performance. This analysis consists of two case studies in which the process of the development of environmental and forest policies and reforms are traced. In this comparative study, the questions asked are: Are political institutional processes helping or hindering forestry management in Costa Rica and Cuba? If so, how? And, how does variation in political institutions affect the forestry management outcomes we observe? The Yale Environmental Performance Index indicates a prima facie puzzle with respect to the performance indicators for Costa Rica and Cuba. The study examines the role of the institutional processes in forest performance through a set of causal forces: societal influence, executive influence, and whose preferences. Despite different institutional processes, similar performance results are found. Additionally, this thesis illustrates the prioritization of forest performance goals when it is tied to preferences from society, the executive, and to some extent international organizations.
Statement of Responsibility: by Stephanie Cadaval
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2013
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Alcock, Frank

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KNOCK ON WOOD: DEMOCRACY AND FOREST PERFORMANCE IN COSTA RICA AND CUBA BY STEPHANIE Y. CADAVAL A Thesis Submitted to the Division of Social Science s New College of Florida I n partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Bachelor of Arts Under the sponsorship of Dr. Frank Alcock Sarasota, Florida May 2013


ii Dedication This project is dedicated to my Mom, who has shown me what it really means to be courageous. Gracias Mam


iii Acknowledgments I would like to thank the wonderful professors at New College who inspire their students year after year, particularly my political science professors and the two academic advisors I have had while at New College: Professor Hicks and Professor Alcock. I would like to acknowledge my family who has never stopped encouraging me in my en deavors and whose incredible strength and positivity inspires me every day. Especially Mom, Dad and, Coral. The excellent library staff at the New College Jane Bancroft Cook Library. A special thanks goes to Laura Libby for reviewing my thesis many times, New College has been very lucky to have an excellent SWA like you. Thank you Professor Cooper. Thank you to my New College family: Rosanna Tavarez, Tessa Grasel, Chelsea Corarito Laura Libby and Azinatya C. Paquin Thank you to Robert A. Padilla for being so wonderful for five years. Finally, I would like to acknowledge that any mistakes or misinterpretations are entirely my own, and reflect in no way on the institution I attend or the sources used in this study.


iv Table of Contents Acknowledgments ii i Table of Contents iv List of Tables v List of Figures v i List of Acronyms vi Abstract v ii Introduction 1 Chapter 1: Theoretical Approach to the Relationship between Democratic Institutions and Environmental Performance 5 Chapter 2: Methodology and Case Selection 34 Chapter 3: The E volution of Costa Rican Political Institutions 49 60 81 Chapter 6: Cu 97 Conclusions 120 Works Cited 13 4


v Lists of Tables Table 1.1 Requirements for a Democracy among a Large Number of People Three Fundamental Definitions 9 Table 1.2 Empirical Analysis on the Interaction of Environment and Democracy 29 Table 2.1 Freedom in Latin America 36 Table 2.2 Environmental Performance in Latin America 2012 (RANK) 42 Table 2.3 Forest Rank and Comparability across Latin America 2012 43 Table 6.1 Historical Tre 2010 113 List of Figures Figure 2.1 EPI Indicators 37 Figure 2.2 Ecosystem Vitality Performance Score and Trend Score: Costa Rica and Cuba Compared 45 Figure 2.3 Forest Indicator Performance Score and Trend Sco re: Costa Rica and Cuba Compared 46 Figure 2.4 Forest Cover Change Performance Score and Trend Score: Costa Rica and Cuba Compared 46 Figure 2.5 Forest Loss Performance and Trend Scores: Costa Rica and Cuba Compared 47 Figure 2.6 Growing Stock Performance Score and Trend Score: Costa Rica and Cuba Compared 48 Figure 4.1 Distributions of National Conservation Areas in Costa Rica 65 Figure 4.2 Changes in Deforestation Rates from 1960 2005 78 Figure 4.3 EPI Historical Rank for Costa Rica: Forest 79 Figure 4.4 Forest Cover change in Costa Rica 1940 2005 80 Figure 5.1 Parallel Hierarchies of PCC and State Structure in Cuba 88 Figure 6.1 system Vitality and Fo rest Performance) 113 Figure 6.2 Cuba Performance Scores and Ranks 114 Figure 7.1 Compared EPI 120 Figure 7.2 Cuba and Costa Rica Forest Indicators 2000 2010 121


vi List of Acronyms AI Autonomous Institution ALCOA Aluminum Company of America CCT Centro Cientifico Tropical CITMA Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment COMARNA National Commission for the Environment and the Conservation of Natural Resources DFG Forestry Service ECODES rvation Strategy for Sustainable Development EIA Environmental Impact Assessments EPI Environmental Performance Index FAO Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FONADEF National Forestry Fund (Cuba) FONAFIFO National Forestry Fund (Co sta Rica) GDP Gross Domestic Product MAG Ministry of Agriculture MINAE Ministry of the Environment MIRENEM Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy, and Mines NGO Non governmental Organization ONF Oficina Nacional Forestal PCC Cuban Communist Party PES Payments for Ecosystem Services PLN Partido Liberacin Nacional PUSC Partido Union Social Cristiano SINAC the National System of Protected Areas (Costa Rica) SNAP National System of Protected Areas (Cuba) UN United Nations WWF World Wildlife Fund


vii KNOCK ON WOOD: DEMOCRACY AND FOREST PERFORMANCE IN COSTA RICA AND CUBA Stephanie Cadaval New College of Florida, 2013 ABSTRACT This thesis examines democratic institutions in Costa Rica and Cuba and their impact on forestry policy and performance. This analysis consists of two case studies in which the process of the development of environmental and forest policies and reforms are traced. In this comparative study, the questions asked are: Are political institutional processes help ing or hindering forestry management in Costa Rica and Cuba? If so, how? And, how does variation in political institutions affect the forestry management outcomes we observe? The Yale Environmental Performance Index indicates a prima facie puzzle with resp ect to the performance indicators for Costa Rica and Cuba. The study examines the role of the institutional processes in forest performance through a set of causal forces: societal influence, executive influence, and whose preferences. Despite different in stitutional processes, similar performance results are found. Additionally, this thesis illustrates the prioritization of forest performance goals when it is tied to preferences from society, the executive, and to some extent international organizations. Professor Frank Alcock Political Science


1 Introduction As global concerns about the impact of climate change increase, Latin America grown (Green 2006, 120). W ith the Amazon Basin t aking the lead the forested lands in this region are an essential source of global biodiversity and of global carbon absorption. For this reason, forest management in Latin America is particularly salient at both national and international levels providing a number of public goods and resources In an effort to seek out global solutions to unsustainable practices, greater attention has been given to Latin American forests and the practices and policies used to manage them. Latin America is home t o political systems that range from free liberal democracies to autocratic governments with limited freedoms. The array of resulting institutions in the region is intriguing because Latin American countries share many development paths, current similaritie s in their colonial pasts, export dependent economies, and several of them share histories of military dictatorships. Despite the pursuit of similar development goals, the countries in the region are also faced by different challenges. The variation of goa ls and challenges in the region is reflected in the range of democratization T he Latin American countries pursue similar development goals through different political means. One such area illustrating this is the natural environment. T he relationship between democracy and the environment is an intriguing area of political science literature. This literature suggests that democracy sets the grounds for


2 the political institutions capable of aiding progressive environmental policies. The s ocietal influence in support of progressive environmental policies can be prominent and functional in democracies. However, on the same note, democratic institutions can sometimes hinder progressive environmental policies. For example, clashing interests can paralyze incentives for environmental protection. Overall, there is empirical evidence to support the claim that democracies result in better environmental performance ; but the evidence is equivocal Despite the general support for democracies and thei r positive influence on the environment, two cases stand out at the institutional poles of Latin America: Costa Rica and Cuba. Although they are political opposites both Costa Rica and Cuba have favorable ratings on the Yale Environmental Performance Inde x for forest performance This similar outcome from very different political systems warrants closer attention. This study analyzes the evolution of the political institutions of Costa Rica and Cuba and their possible effects on forest management. The f ollowing three questions will guide the analysis: 1. Are democratic institutional processes helping or hindering forestry management in Costa Rica? If so, how? 2. Are autocratic political institutions helping or hindering forest management in Cuba? If so, how? 3. How does variation in political institutions affect the forestry management outcomes we observe ? Considering that there is some evidence in the literature that democratic institutions play a positive role in environmental performance, a prima facie puzzle exists with respect to the performance indicators for Cuba and Costa Rica. Despite the fact that Cuba maintains few democratic traits (as shown in the widely accepted Freedom House


3 Index ) it rates comparably well in indicators of environmental perf ormance specifically in forest performance. Costa Rica, a highly democratic country (as documented by the Freedom House Index) also shows positive forest performance levels. Given the high level of freedom in Costa Rica the environmental performance is less surprising. How each case achieves these similar performance levels warrants investigation T his study will use the puzzle as a point of departure and explore how political institutions affect environmental performan ce. What strength s and weaknesses in each have had which impacts on the establishment of environmental goals and their pursuit? Democratic and autocratic institutions generate variation in representation and accountability executive prerogative (efficiency), and time hori zons. These variables can all affect environmental performance albeit in countervailing ways. The literature identifies these three factors as areas in which democratic institutions encourage government behavior that improves environmental performance. T he purpose of the study is not to make broad generalizations concernin g democracy and the environment, but to take a closer look at the democratic and nondemocratic institutional processes in place in two Latin American countries for establishing and execu ting environmental policy in the forest sector. Given the comparable and positive environmental performance of both Costa Rica and Cuba, whether democracy is helping or hindering performance or simply has different advantages from authoritarian rule will b e explored, both within these cases and then between the cases. By comparing the strengths and differences in the two systems, then revisiting the theoretical claims from the literature, the details of how forest laws have


4 unfolded an d whether or not in t hese cases the results can be attributable to democracy in action or (even other institutional processes) are made clearer. Chapter one of this study sets the framework for the analysis for the proceeding chapters by laying out the accepted theories behin d the relationship between democratic institutions and environmental performance. Using these accepted theories and assessed. Chapter two designates Costa Rica and Cuba as viable and interesting cases of study concerning environmental policy and performance and serves to situate the cases within Latin America as the area of interest. Chapter three delineates the evolution of the political institutions of Costa Rica. Following this, chapter four teases out particular political decisions, events, and reforms that molded the forest policies in Costa Rica and political institutions in Cuba, discussing the parts and workings of the countries autocratic system. Wrapping up the empirical section, chapter six traces the political decisions, events, or reforms that impact forest policies and forest performance in Cuba. Finally, the concludi ng chapter compares the evolution of political institutions and their respective forestry performance results. In this final section, alternate explanations for the performance of these cases are given, and methodological flaws and sugg estions for future study are considered.


5 Chapter 1 Theoretical Approach to the Relationship between Democratic Institutions and Environmental Performance Political theorists, scholars and politicians have discussed, both theoretically and statistically, the ways in which democratic ideals and environmental protection can t han clear. Overall, there has been a considerable amount of literature that analyzes the effects of democracy on environmental performance from the 1970s through today. The onment is ) however, by using theoretical and em pirical literature for support, this chapter will shed light on the relationship between democratic institutions and their impact on environmental performance (Neumayer 2002, 139). Democracy: a vessel for productive pressure and a beacon of environmental wellbeing In the cases selected for study, the relationship between the political institutions and the resulting performance levels are explained through a frame of causal mechanisms including: societal influence, executive influence, and preferences. These three c ausal


6 forces capture various mechanisms that include societal representation and accountability ; institutional paralysis and efficiency ; and time horizons. Societal influence is comprised of representation and accountability. Societal representation matte rs because citizens usually bear the brunt of the costs of environmental damage. However, the costs can be reduced in situations where citizens are represented by their leaders and can thus hold them accountable. Conversely institutional paralysis matte rs as well Institutional paralysis occurs when the interests of society are divided. When societal preferences vary, c ompeting interests in democracies are challenge d particularly if the policies are sure to leave winners and losers. The gridlock formed from institutional paralysis inhibits change in status quo policies. Executive influence can help cut through the paralysis. Executive prerogative is the power of the executive in final decision making. In cases with strong executive prerogative there is a preference for top down policy making and societal representation may have less influence. Cases with strong executive influence may be able to i mplement environmental policies more efficiently, solving issues of institutional paralysis, if the policies lineup with executive preferences. Finally, it is important to consider how time horizons can impact environmental performance. Short time horizo ns, defined as frequent elections followed by short terms in office, can make it difficult for policies to be passed and for those that are passed to be continued (or continued as they were initially envisioned) by succeeding leaders. Autocratic time horiz ons are unclear.


7 Both positive and negative aspects of democracy and autocracy will be discussed and juxtaposed in respect to environmental performance. Then, given these definitions I will discuss some of the theoretical literature in support of the question: Do democratic institutions impact environmental performance? Furthermore, existing empirical evidence and research will also be discussed. Democracy and autocracy are interlaid and contrasted throughout the chapter, and the thesis as a whole, to provide the fundamental groundings of critical analysis for the study. Defining Democracy Democracy is without a doubt a complex concept and can be defined in a number of ways. However, overall, it can be said that the essence of democracy lies in the role of leaders as representatives of their citizens. In the simplest of terms, democracy can be officials) i.e. the majority decides while the rights of the minority (Avakian 1986, 4, cited in Bush 2009, 1). Most scholars will refer to the influential definitions of Schumpeter and Dahl when defining democracy. While it is important to understand the foundational definitions of these scholars, in the con text of this research, the Freedom House Index is employed to define democracy as it takes into account the measures of interest to this study and is marked as a widely accepted proxy. Synthesizing ideas from Schumpeter and Dahl (see Table 1.1) as appr opriate for this study, democracy is defined as a government structure in which people have the (this means that in order to have free elections they need to be competitive and allow mult iple parties to


8 compete). It must also grant basic civil freedoms, (these include freedom of speech, the press, association and assembly), and a rule of law must be ensured (Diamond 2008, 21). ional arrangement for arriving at political decisions in which individuals acquire the power to decide by means the fact that elected official depend on appeasing pub lic interests, democratic institutions set an effective framework for pushing through environmental policies that are supported by the public. Centrally, the same traits that define democracy (freedom of speech, elections and public accountability, civil s ociety, freedom of information, and competing interests) fuel and facilitate citizens that wish to push forth a greener agenda. As such, for the scope of this study, the Freedom House Index provides a useful, independent metric for assessing the degree of As seen in Table 1.1, below, the Freedom House measures are fairly all encompassing. The traits measured by this standard which are highly important to this study are: the freedom to form and joi n organizations, freedom of expression, and the allowance of alternative sources of information. Freedom House measures political rights (Freedom House 2013, 32). Additionally, civil liberties are (Freedom House 2013, 32). A full democracy would be ranked, 1, most free. Moreover, as seen in Table 1.1, the right of political leaders to compete for support and maintain


9 accountability to citizens is an important aspect of democracy concerning its effectiveness in environmental p erformance issues. As will be later explained, due to the fact that leaders are competing for public support and in turn, the public is competing to have their interests represented, leaders could either support pro environmental interests as well anti e nvironmental interests such as manufacturing and business interests (often manufacturing and business interests lobby against environmental movements). This particular aspect of competing interests could render democracy ineffective in promoting environmen tal performance. Table 1.1 Requirements for a Democracy among a Lar ge Number of People : Three Fundamental Definitions Schumpeter (1950) Defined by: Dahl (1970) Defined by: Freedom House Scale Measured by: 1. Free competition among those running for office 2. A free vote for citizens 1. Freedom to forms & join organizations 2. Freedom of expression 3. Right to vote 4. Eligibility for public office 5. Right of political leaders to compete for support 6. Alternative sources of information 7. Free & Fair Elections Political Rights: 1. Political leaders chosen in free & fair elections 2. Fair electoral laws & framework 3. Ability of alternate parties to compete & organize 4. Capability of opposition parties to compete & win 5. Freedom of individuals to run/campaign for office 6. Full political rights for cultural, religious & minorities 7. Capacity of elected to exercise authority without control by military, religious or other oversight 8. The accountability of government to the public (electorate) in between elections 9. Corruption free government Civi l Liberties: 10. Freedom of expression & belief including freedom of press & media, freedom of religion. 11. Academic & intellectual freedom 12. Freedom of assembly & demonstration 13. Freedom of organization (NGOs, Interest Groups etc.) 14. Independent judiciary and rule of law 15. Protection from political terror 16. Equal treatment of various components of population (regardless of gender, ethnic, or religious groups) 17. Freedom to travel and establish residence 18. Right to own property 19. Gender equality and personal social freedoms 20. Equality of opportunity Source: Table 1 1, Bush 2009, 2; Diamond 2008, 371.


10 Based on the given definition of democracy, autocracy can be defined as a system in which one leader or a small elite group is in power and in which civil and political rights can be oppressed (a non democracy). On the Freedom House scale, a full autocracy would be scored a 7 demarcating a country that has a minimal degree of democracy. Theoretical Uncertainty Concerning Democracy and the Environment When considering democracy it is important to acknowledge the differing views concerning the degree to which democracy is essential for environmental protection or not as well as the wide range of opinions within this literature. According to Christie: Democracy can be shown to be very closely associated with high standards of ecological protection and ef fective implementation of environmental law. We cannot begin to tackle big environmental challenges without de mocracy and all it is based on t he rule of law, an open society, free media, experimentation, and low levels of corruption. The worst cases of [un sustainability] at local and regional scales are being exacerbated above all, by misrule of authoritarian regimes. The many non democracies can tackle [unsustainability] only by adopting democratic processes and moving to open societies based in the accoun As explained by Christie, the reason behind the strength of environmental policies in democracies is because of the particular and central features discussed (rule of law, open society, free media, experimentation, a nd low levels of corruption). The reason that democracies are well suited to the provision of improved environmental performance is because democracies are made to suit majority needs (this is most evident in truly consolidated democracies). In the case of environmental performance issues, the majority of citizens, most often benefit from improved environmental performance. In the cases of democracies, democratic institutions actually reinforce one another. Arguably, the reason why autocracies are unsuitabl e vessels for effective environmental policy is because they


11 lack social accountability. Again, the electoral factor increases the accountability of leaders to the public and various interested parties in society. Conversely: s for [sustainability]. In the advanced liberal capitalist states, democracy is tightly coupled to the promise of economic growth, ever rising consumption and individual freedom. Democracy in such states now entrenches the interests of the affluent majorit y and well funded lobbies in the political system. Representative democracies have become sclerotic and there is a widespread problem of public trust and apathy in the OECD world. Politicians cannot challenge vested consumer and producer interests for fear of losing votes, lobby and media support, and associated funding. This makes democracies incapable of mobilizing citizens to tackle collective action problems on a big scale i e. climate disruptions and emission cuts. The worse the performance of democrac temptation to see authoritarian command economies as the key to pushing societies on to sustainable paths. (Christie 2007, 1) oint. In general, democracies are associated with liberal capitalism and the emphasis on individual freedom can make it challenging for governments to control public behavior, such as a curbing public consumption habits. The alternate view of democracy, pr esented by Christie above, highlights the weaknesses of democracies to control and mobilize the public from above. Exerting pressure from the top down is often effective in authoritarian regimes. Authoritarian regimes for instance are capable of implementi ng and mandating policies as they see fit without considering opposing views or competing lobbies and interests. The single source power ruling from above that is characteristic of autocracies can be in this sense effective for mobilizing the public (from above) to change public behavior on a large scale. Therefore, it is clear that the lack of public accountability (due to the lack of free and fair elections) can be effective in authoritarian regimes, particularly in enforcing Regardless of the view that in autocracies the majority of the environmental resources available are controlled by the elite minority, the late 1960s into the 1970s led


12 to some influential arguments from a number of scholars concerned with unsustainabl e growth patterns of development. Among the most compelling of these arguments is the simple idea that autocracies are better equipped to impose environmental policies as needed and to enforce those policies as they find appropriate. This is, without a dou bt, an effective method for implementing and enforcing policies with little to no contestation from the public. One of the first and most famous of these arguments stems from Garrett checked natural resource exploitation and environmental mismanagement by self interested allotted unhindered access to resources, will overuse and overexploit the enviro nment business interests in democratic capitalist economies. 1 As previously discussed, the strong free market tendencies of democracies may show some ill will to the environment and natural resources if they remain unchecked. A range of literature from the 1970s expressed an inclination towards a more authoritarian m ethod of control. Scholars such as Robert Heilbroner believed that authoritarian regimes could be less harmful to the environment. Interestingly, Heilbroner (1974) promoted lation to argue that only those strong handed non democracies could limit overexploitation 1 However, it may be possible that strong and unchecked business interests acting in within authoritarian borders may be even more dangerous. At least in democracies there remains the possibility that the public can mobilize in a counter movement against these inter ests. In autocracies however, there are few mechanisms available to the public to counter the actions of exploitive interests, especially if the exploitation is coming from the government or a government backed interest.


13 rtail human reproduction, but democracies are held accountable by the public and therefore Reuveny 2006, 938). Historically, autocracies have not had an eco friendly rep utation. According to ever been very effective as regards either environmental protection or the equitable point out the not so distant ineffective democratic regimes have been regarding environmental protection, they have been far more effective than were the authoritarian regimes of the former Soviet Union (Paehlke 1996 19 ) This presents a paradox: there is at least supporting logic and anecdotal evidence for both. Causal Mechanisms in the Democracy Environment Paradigm It is obvious that when concerning e nvironmental issues a very important aspect to the democracy environment paradigm is the role of freedom of expression. Undeniably, freedom of expression facilitates the function of societal representation in democratic systems. Included in the most basic of civil liberties, freedom of speech provides the public with a crucial accountability tool. Democracy has been the regime of choice for many scholars concerning improvement of environmental performance because democratic institutions can facilitate the Rivera 2000, 3). Because democracy facilitates the participation of grassroots movements


14 and allows the public to organize around issues, interested parties are able to pres sure leaders so that the demands of the public are met (in this case, pressure from the public increases awareness, prioritization, and mobilization of political leaders towards environmental issues). In democracies, as opposed to other regime types, the p ublic has electoral leverage over political leaders. However, even though the strength of democracy for leverage therefore, the strength of diversity of ideas in dem ocracy can also be a detriment to advancing environmental policy. rights and freedom of information increases the visibility and empowers the causes of environmental interest gr oups, this then increases public awareness of issues and pushes that democracy can be conducive to better environmental performance particularly because democracy encou rages information concerning environmental issues to circulate more freely. Additionally, it is evident that the pessimistic predictions of the 1970s can be considered, without doubt, outdated: The relationship between environment, and economic growth and democracy is would now seem more likely in the absence of democratic regimes committed to environmental pro Lafferty and Meadowcroft 1996, 19) Furthermore, political rights are higher in number and better protected in democracies facilitating the establishment of a flourishing civil society. Civil societies will include independent organizations, mass media, and think tanks, they also make use of


15 produ ce strong, competent and informed environmental groups and they are more likely to thrive and inform the public, organizing them into action. In democracies, decision making is far less autonomous than in autocracies. This stems from the fact that in a utocracies a small elite group may have greater control over the administrative positions. As elites, they often also have greater access to education. This is an important point because education tends to rise with income (elites tend to have higher incom es compared to the rest of society). With more power, education, and higher levels of income, political information is more accessible for elites than citizens of lesser affluence. Hence, a large portion of responsibility for instigating change has to come from them concerning pressure for better environmental policy or enforcement. However, at times law makers do not see the benefit of stopping environmental degradation and do not pressure to change policy habits (although this may not always be the case). In communities where there are often restrictions to information access, environmental degradation might not be shared by the media to the people. Owing to the fact that democracies allow free media, it is far more likely that the public will be aware of environmental issues and how they directly impact society. However, the command and control aspects of autocratic policymaking can greatly benefit environmental performance, particularly in enforcing policies that are necessary although publically unpopula r. Another view claims that because democracy is good for peace, then democracy will improve environmental issues reducing the pressure for conflict over environment


16 and resources as suggested by Homer Dixon (1994) (Midlarsky 1998, 341). Homer Dixon is often cited for his suggestion that environmental degradation and scarcity frequently incite conflict (sometimes violent conflict). Midlarsky agrees with this view and takes it a step further by discussing the peaceful benefits of democratic structure over environmental policy which improves environmental performance and in turn enhance resource security. Societal influence: a democratic benefit The societal influence aspect of democracies is a positive facet of the relationship between democracy and environmental performance. In discussing the relationship between democracy and the environment, it is assumed that democratic societal influence is good for the environment and will result in impr oved environmental performance. Beca use society and citizens bear the brunt of the costs of environmental damage (either because the costs are impacting public health or public access to resources) it is imperative that they voice their concerns to the government entities that can ensure the ir rights. This is because democracy ensures and facilitates certain rights such as freedoms of speech and expression, freedom of organization and freedom of information. Without a doubt, the insurance of the above freedoms is a positive facet of the relat ionship between democracy and the environment and can explain why environmental performance is so positive in democracies. Overall, these freedoms can be grouped into facets of societal representation in democracies. It can be said that societal represe ntation plays a critically positive role in improving environmental performance; this positive facet is highlighted in democracies. Mainly due to the ability of the public to effectively pressure leaders, societal


17 representation assures leaders will mainta in public accountability. As stated by Li and greater accountability are better equip ped to manage and enforce environmental policies and so are likely to show greater environmental performance over time. Accountability is nearly as challenging to define as democracy. There is a caveat to the previously mentioned definition of democracy, and for this study at least, it is assumed that a functioning rule of law will have positive effects on environmental 99). A democracy in which there is a strong rule of l aw gives individuals, groups, and organizations an arena in which they can better monitor those in power and demand that they remain honest. This is far more difficult in an authoritarian system because in these cases, the small elite group in power can fu nction above the law, and cannot be held publically accountable for their actions or their crimes. Concerning the issue of environmental degradation, groups in civil society, individuals and other agencies can hold policymakers accountable to their actio ns or to their promises. These whistle blowing techniques allow civil society to keep their leaders open and credible, strengthening the force of pressure that can be placed on government to enforce environmental policy. The chances of keeping a watchful e ye on the actions of the government increase the transparency of policies, as well. It is important to connect the concept of public accountability to democracy, particularly concerning environmental performance, because strong democracies are sensitive to the needs of the public, so if the


18 public wants better environmental performance, that is assured that a transparent and accountable government will give it to them, or they risk losing reelection. Kotov and Nikitina (1995) also argue that democracies are more reactive to the needs of the public than autocratic regimes. This is because of electoral accountability and the capability of groups to mobilize around issues, obtain political representation and have some weight in the policymaking process (Li a nd Reuveny 2006, 937). In a democracy, environmentalists have a greater chance of influencing policy making parties, including those friendly to the environment (e.g., the Gr 2006, 937). However, as earlier noted, democracies also incre ase access to the general public or to non environmental interests. Limiting societal influence for progressive polices, democratic institutions facilitate the political influence for interests that are both good and bad for the environment, in other words freely elect extreme anti environmental parties. Casual observation, however, suggests (Li and Reuveny, 200 6, 937) Executive influence: mitigating institutional paralysis Emphasizing executive influence can be a beneficial method of overcoming issues of institutional paralysis. A major caveat in the relationship between democracy and the environment is the occurrence of institutional paralysis which can inhibit democracies from effective environmental policy making and performance. Because societal


19 representation gives rise to competing interests among the public, one of the great challenges faced by democracies is policy inaction. In these cases, leaders please as many publ ic interest groups as they can to win more votes. This can lead to a standoff of interests and interrupts the direct impact of democracy on the environment. For example, imperatives but to more pressing issues of the economic subsistence of major portions of 939). Governments with little accountability to the public act on, chiefly, the executive p rerogative. Democratic regimes can be unwilling to take action on environmental degradation because there can be disparities in the resulting benefits. Where action is taken, weaker policies will be made in order to satisfy the least common denominator among all parti es. To put it simply, addressing environmental concerns can result in winners as well as losers. Many authors present theories concerning the negative effects of democracy on the environment. However, there is still little empirical evidence that suppor ts the idea that in the end, democracy is bad for the environment. Nevertheless, some of the economic characteristics common to democracies are, at least temporarily, bad for environmental performance (Scruggs and Rivera 2000, 2; Midlarsky et al. 2006, 948) As nt upon economic development and since economic growth and prosperity generally result in environmental pollution and ecological 1998, 11 cited in Bush 2009, 10). In case s where the public is competing for


20 representation concerning their interests, political institutions can be left in a stalemate. Thereby, strong executive decision making (executive prerogative) can overcome the complications that accompany the institutio n of public accountability for environmental policy making. Dryzek (1987) agrees that the majority of democracies are going to have large interests in market economies in which business interests will have a significant amount of political weight over alt ernate interests such as the environment (Dryzek 1987, 121; cited in Bush 2009, 10). He argues that the same mechanisms which allow the public to organize and push forth their views allow business interests and oppositional views to pressure government for their interests as well (Dryzek 1987, 204) The lack of environmental regulation or the existence of weak regulation often allows business of profit oriented corporate in 938). Therefore, the lack of stringent regulation and policy allows these industrial and business interests to write off any damage they cause transferring environmental costs to the publ ic. Dryzek, in his study lists countries in which democracy is methodically The liberal market economics that are ti ed to democracies inhibit the development of what seems to be most important in the positive relationship between democracy and environmental performance: public interest. Consequently, the democratic leaders become loyal and accountable to the business in terests (who have supported and encouraged their coming to power). As business interests may not necessarily value


21 environmental quality, the interests of grassroots movements can be squandered (Li and Reuveny 2006, 938). Another challenge for environme ntal policy in democracies is the unwillingness to take action on environmental degradation which results in disparate benefits. In other words, by enforcing or strengthening environmental policies some groups in society will benefit more than others. Furt hermore, it is likely that in order to settle the inequities between the winners and losers, weaker policies will be made in order to satisfy the least common denominator among all parties. Autocracies on the other hand may hold the issue of institutional paralysis over democracies concerning environmental policy and performance. As noted, autocratic regimes are not accountable to the public and as such are not impacted by competing public interests as democracies and are capable of implementing policies as they see fit. concerns is that democracy can only be guaranteed to function at the national and local decision making levels. So, global problems are hard to tackle on time (Paehlk e 1996:28 cited in Li and Reueny 2006, 938). This is not to say that global regimes and institutions completely lack democratic traits, but that democracy is difficult to uphold past the terrain within which votes are directly cast. Preferences and Time H orizons There are differences among the preferences of society and the executive. Time horizons are differently linked to the preferences of society or the preferences of the executive. There remain uncertain links between terms in power and improved per formance. However, seeing that environmental issues develop and become evident


22 over time, the issue of government time horizons is important to consider when analyzing environmental performance. Because in an autocracy, the elite are usually tied to the le should have less at stake over regime change than the elite in an autocracy Reuveny 2006, 937). It can be argued that the long terms of autocratic leaders can ser ve to better implement environmental policies. As environmental issues often exist over long time horizons and may not be apparent for many years, perhaps the longer terms of autocracies and the lack of competitive public interests (or rather the lack of a ccountability to these interests) can facilitate autocratic regimes to implement and enforce environmental policies at will. The policies implemented in autocracies therefore reflect executive preferences. However, it is unclear whether or not longer time horizons are in fact better for environmental performance. There are both positive and negative views surrounding executive preferences in autocracies. If the leader of an autocratic regime loses power then the elite are heavily at risk of losing their ac crued assets, their social position and in some cases even their lives. For obvious reasons, it is apparent that the existing elite in an autocratic system will want to keep the status quo as is and prevent regime change by any means possible. Often, those in power allocate resources to increase oppression as a precaution to any political and social uprisings in order to prevent a change in regime (and in their political, esp ecially if they for see an inevitable change in regime approaching (Li and Reuveny 2006, 937). In this case, elites will likely behave recklessly, expending all available


23 resources before inevitable changes occur this type of behavior usually fares negativ ely for the environment. As evidenced, even just the projection of perceptions of time horizons in autocratic regimes can have massive impacts on the environment in under autocratic leaders. In any case, theorists argue that acy will ignore environmental damage expected in the future. If they invest more today to suppress real or potential rebels, they will allocate resources away from environmental issues. If they consume more today, they will ignore environmental degradation that takes a long time to rectify or current activities that will cause damages in the future. (Li and Reuveny 2006, 938) As expressed by Li and Reuveny, in either case, under the perceptions of time horizons, in autocratic regimes, the environment is l ikely to suffer in the hands of the elite. On the other hand, Scruggs points out that the time horizon argument against autocracies is not entirely salient (Scruggs and Rivera 2000, 4). Even though Congleton and Li and Reuveny argue that shorter time ho rizons are inevitable in autocracies, evidence is offered to suggest that. The probability that a democratic government falls does not seem obviously lower than the probability that an autocratic one falls. (The cost of losing power i.e., summary execution versus quiet retirement -may be a greater risk in non and Rivera 2000, 4). Overall, it has been argued that it could be more difficult to regulate and limit economic activities that could be environmentally damaging in democracies as opposed to in autoc racies. The argument behind this is that autocratic governments do not have to be cautious about the rights of citizens concerning these activities as well as their rights for procreation. As an autocratic government can decree its rule at will it can, the oretically, impose limitations on population growth and particularly damaging economic activities thereby reducing the strain placed on environmental resources. Because of their ability to rule by command Hardin (1968) and Heilbroner (1974) made


24 the case t hat autocracies could be relied upon to effectively resolve environmental issues (Neumayer 2002 2012, 141). However, even though in theory it would appear that autocratic governments could respond effectively to the issue of resolving environmental constra ints, the empirical evidence concerning the links between democracy and the environment are mixed and complex. Empirical Assessments During the 1990s scholars, economists, political scientists and experts began to work in 1992, found that democratic forms of governance had a positive impact on the quality of the environment. Later work in the 1990s and into the 2000s also shared this view; although, there were exceptions (Midlarsky 1998, Barrett and Graddy 2000 c ited in Scruggs and Rivera 2000, 1). However, it is difficult to generalize across much of this literature as individual studies focus on the effects of democracy on particular environmental issues such as soil erosion, water pollution or levels of SO2 em issions, among others (Midlarsky, 1998; Barret and Graddy, 2000; Neumayer, 2003 respectively). There has been little cooperation between political scientists and economists questioning the relationship between democracy and environmental performance. Ac disciplinary divide, the economists' research efforts are not recognized by political are tho se which analyze government commitment to environmental quality in terms of


25 signing international agreements (e.g., Congleton 1992; Neumayer 2002), resource scarcity and access to environmental amenities like clean water (Torras and Boyce 1998), and those which analyze human activities harmful to the environment, such as greenhouse gas emissions (e.g., Midlarsky 1998; Gleditsch and Sverdrup 2003) (Li and Reuveny 2006, 935 936). For the most part, all of these studies conclude that democracy plays a positive role on environmental performance. Some studies found positive effects in some areas of degradation and not in others and some had inconclusive results, all with varying degrees of significance. However, none has explicitly found (empirically) that autocr atic systems are more beneficial to environmental performance than democratic systems. As seen in the Table 1.2 below, there is a great variety of studies concerning the question: Does democracy impact environmental performance? Those studies listed belo w are only a selected sample of the availability and range of studies on the subject. Further analyses of those which have been most influential to this study because of their range of samples or the clarity of their method follow. Congleton (1992) ran so me early tests concerning the relationship between environment and democracy. Although his study was more economic than political, in his test of democracy and chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) and methane, he sampled 118 countries testing political factors (democ racy) and other factors (capitalist country, reserves of oil, reserves of gas, area, and GNP per capita) as his independent variables against the signature of the Vienna and Montreal Protocols, Methane, and CFCs. According to on's work, Congleton lacked data that would allow him to analyze the differences in domestic environmental regulation (Neumayer 2002, 142). He


26 did find however, that democratic countries would be more likely to sign the Vienna Convention and the Montreal P rotocol, however, he also found that democracies where more likely to have higher methane and chlorofluorocarbon emissions. A major critique Neumayer presents of Congleton is that he bases his analysis on data that is from 1988. Today, if Congleton were to repeat his analysis, he would be challenged by the fact that the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol have been signed by a variety of countries; he would need to look at whether or not they were ratified by democracies before they were ratified by non democracies (Neumayer 2002, 143). Neumayer brings up a very interesting point in his analysis of Congleton's work, particularly in noting that at the time of the study concerns over ozone layer depletion "was very much a developed country concern as w ell as a phenomenon largely caused by developed country emissions" (Neumayer 2002, 143). Even though it may not be as salient today, at the time, Congleton's study opened up many questions concerning the relationship between democracy and the environment. Scruggs (1998) found that democracy is statistically insignificant after income inequality is controlled. Using the Freedom House data he runs ordinary least squares to test the case of dissolved oxygen, fecal coli form and particulates emissions (Neumay er 2002, 142). The study assumes statistical significance only for sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions. Furthermore, Midlarsky (1998) concludes in his influential study that there is a positive correlation between democracies and protected land areas. His st udy measures this relationship among 74 to 100 countries in one year, 1990. In addition to testing


27 Democracy as his political factor, he tests other explanatory factors such as GDP, population, agriculture density, precipitation, domestic violence, and re gion (European location). His dependent variables in this study include: deforestation, CO2, soil erosion by water, protected land areas, freshwater availability, and soil erosion by chemicals. He finds, no statistical significance concerning the relations hip between fresh water availability and soil erosion by chemicals. There are considerable and fundamental differences in the strategies that we choose to adopt so that we can reverse or stop the damage caused to the natural environment (Elliot 1998, 3, Cited in Bush 2009, 1). Concerning mainly the empirical studies, there has been little consensus. The mainstream literature would appear to lean toward the assumption that democratic or politically free nations care for their natural systems more effectiv ely, but is this assumption correct? Finally, Li and Reuveny (2006), claim that because the theoretical literature concerning democracy and the environment are all plausible, it is difficult to pin point any one particular causal mechanism particularly be cause they can occur simultaneously. Therefore, in their study they analyze multiple causal mechanisms and their net effect (Li and Reuveny 2006, 936).


28 Table 1.2 Empirical Analysis on the Interaction of Environment and Democracy Author Study Empirical Year Basic conclusions Barrett and Graddy Sulfur Dioxide emissions 2000 Political freedom improves air and water quality in countries. Binder and Neumayer Air pollution 2005 In 17 samples that there was weak evidence that democracy was linked to lower pollution in areas like sulfur dioxide and smoke and heavy particles. Congleton Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) and Methane 1992 Democracies have lower methane emissions Ehrhardt Martinez Deforestation 2002 Democracies do improve deforestation but only when they have a strong state capacity. Gleditsch and Sverdrup Carbon Dioxide Emissions 2003 Positive relation Li and Reuveny Carbon dioxide emissions NOx emissions, water pollution, deforestation, and land degradation 2006 Positive effect on reduction of CO2 emissions, NOx and organic water pollutants also on deforestation and land degradation. Midlarsky Deforestation, air quality, soil erosion by water, protected land area, fresh water availability, and soil erosion 1998 Democracies had positive effects on protected land, negative effects on soil erosion by water, deforestation and air quality. No effect on chemical soil erosion or freshwater availability. Neumayer Environmental commitment 2002 Problems can be externalized (2002, 144). But there is correlation with land under protection. Scruggs Income inequality, dissolved oxygen, fecal coliform and particulate emissions 1998 Democracy is statistically insignificant once you control for income inequality. Shandra Deforestation 2007 No correlation. But, did find that a greater influence of international NGOs in a country was associated with less deforestation in a sample of developing countries Torras and Boyce Air and water pollution levels 1998 democracy only had a positive impact in low income countries on a few pollutants like smoke, heavy particles Data for this table is composited from Bush 2009, 13; Scruggs and Rivera 2000, 30 37; Neumayer 2002, 142; Midlarsky 1998, 346 In their empirical/statistical study, the dependent variable, environmental degradation, is measured with five salient types of human induced degradation: carbon


29 dioxide (CO2) emissions, nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, land degradation, deforestation, and organic pollution in water (Li and Reuveny 2006, 936). Then for each type of degradation they estimate several regression models by using different measures of democracy/autocracy. Due to a limited availability of data, the number of cases (countries) tes ted varies from 105 (for land degradation analysis) to 143 (for CO2 emissions per capita analysis). The sample size of this study is fairly large compared to other studies on this subject. In their study they also focus on human caused environmental degrad ation finding consistency of the impact of democracy on the environment although the amount of impact varies from environmental indicator to environmental indicator. Furthermore, in their empirical analysis Li and Reuveny analyze competing mechanisms dis cussed in the relevant theoretical literature. They focus their study on the induced environmental deforestation, la nd degradation, and organic pollution in water (Li and Reuveny 2006, 935). In all, Li and Reuveny conclude that each of the five types of degradation mentioned above is reduced by democracy. However, it is imperative to note that the effects of democracy v ary in the scope of impact (size) and by degradation type. In all, even though the theoretical literature displays a variety of arguments concerning the impacts of democracy on the environment, the empirical evidence is a bit more conclusive.


30 Opening the way for new discussions As noted, theoretically, the ranges of arguments concerning the impact of democratic institutions on environmental performance run the gamut. The lack of consensus between the theoretical arguments and the empirical evidence re nder the space for further inquiry concerning the effects of democracy on environmental performance. As assumed by the nature of democratic institutions and the inclusion of free, fair and competitive elections, freedom of expression, freedom of informatio n, and freedom of organization and association it is easy to write off democratic institutions as the ideal frame for improving and enforcing environmental policy and performance. As democratic institutions are supportive of strong and informed civil socie ties and facilitate social mobilization, they are able to enforce the allocation of accountability to the public because of effective societal representation. On the other hand, as the aforementioned freedoms and rights are allocated to all citizens in d emocracies, then it is likely that different groups in society may have to compete in order to assure their influence over political leaders and ensure their interests are not ignored. Moreover, democracies maintain lively economic growth and action and ar e therefore influenced not only by citizens but also by economic interests (businesses and corporations). Therefore, various actors in democratic society are in their right to influence, lobby and pressure leaders (competing against each other) to assure t heir own interests come out on top. In the effort to please these actors and assure reelection, democratic leaders can sacrifice action towards certain interests. As such, these different actors accrue a pseudo veto power against interest which are not the ir own leading to policy inaction. Because autocratic governments do not have to rely on the public to


31 ensure that they remain in power (through reelection) they not as accountable to citizens as democratic leaders. In the case of environmental policy, thi s aspect of autocratic leadership does not have to be viewed negatively. Many scholars argue that the lack of accountability to citizens in autocracies gives leaders the opportunity to implement and enforce policies at will (command and control policymakin g). Theoretically, this facilitates the implementation of environmental policy measures as there is no social veto power in place. Although as evidenced by the empirical work discussed above there has not been much evidence statistically confirming that au tocratic control bodes better for the environment. Finally, there remains uncertainty over the role of leadership time horizons and whether the differences in the average terms play a determining role in improved environmental performance. Arguably, the short terms of democracies hinder the capacity for action on environmental issues existing over a long time horizon. Perhaps the length of democratic terms does not need to change but the majority of societal values do. If a majority percentage of citizen s clarify that improved environmental values are important; their views would be able to pressure any leader to prioritize environmental protection and policymaking. As such, the time horizon issue would not impinge on some sort of continued political acti on concerning environmental issues. On the other hand, there is also little consensus over the role of time horizons concerning autocratic regimes. Due to the fact that the stability of autocratic regimes varies so intensely, it is difficult to conclude if time horizons play a role in the quality of their environmental performance. Despite the fact that the literature and the empirical evidence lean slightly towards the view that democracy is a positive force in the democracy/environment paradigm, it is


32 c urious that there are autocratic systems currently performing at competitive environmental levels inciting further analysis that will be discussed in subsequent chapters.


33 Chapter 2 Methodology and Case Selection Forest policy is the objective area in which the role of democratic and nondemocratic institutions will be compared across two cases in Latin America. By tracing the processes of political institutions and discussing events key to the development of forest policies the analysis will juxtapose the selected cases with the Yale Environmental Performance Index (EPI) indicators: Change in Forest Cover, Forest Loss, and Forest Growing Stock. Case selection is dependent on polar extremities on the scale of political institutions and comparability in o ther variables such as: size of geographic area and GDP per capita and level of development. Furthermore, the selected cases will be compared using the information available through the EPI. For a more detailed ix I of the 2012 EPI Report (Indicator Profiles of the EPI). 2 Freedom House Methodology The qualification of fully democratic and fully autocratic will be designated processes of political institutions both a fully democratic and a fully autocratic case are to be selected. 2 Located at:


34 The freedom in the world survey, conducted by Freedom House, e valuates "freedom" in 195 countries. The survey is composed of a combination of "analytical reports and numerical ratings, measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties" (Freedom in the World 2012, 33). Political rights ratings are formulated based on evaluations of the electoral processes, political pluralism and participation, and functioning of government. Civil liberties ratings are based on an evaluation of: freedom of expression, rights to assemble and organi ze, rule of law as well as personal autonomy and individual rights. For both political rights and civil liberties each country surveyed is given a numerical rating from 1 to 7, where 1 is most free and 7 is least free. The ratings are based on each coun liberties questions. The average ratings for political rights and civil liberties ratings result in the overall freedom status: Free (1.0 to 2.5), Partly Free (3.0 5.0), and Not Fr ee (5.5 to 7.0). The Freedom House Index is widely accepted and used by "policy makers, leading scholars, the media, and international organizations" examining freedom trends "over time and on a comparative basis across regions with different political and economic systems" (Freedom in the World 2012, 33). Freedom in Latin America As is evidenced by Table 2.2, Freedom in Latin America, there is presently a range of countries rated free to not free. Among the freest are Uruguay, Chile, and Costa Rica. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Cuba, rated not free.


35 Table 2.1 Freedom in Latin America Country FH 2012 PR CL Costa Rica* FREE 1 1 Dominican Republic* FREE 2 2 Chile* FREE 1 1 Uruguay* FREE 1 1 Jamaica* FREE 2 3 Peru* FREE 2 3 Trinidad and Tobago* FREE 2 2 Brazil* FREE 2 2 Panama* FREE 1 2 Argentina* FREE 2 2 El Salvador* FREE 2 3 Haiti PARTLY FREE 4 5 Mexico* PARTLY FREE 3 3 Colombia* PARTLY FREE 3 4 Honduras PARTLY FREE 4 4 Bolivia* PARTLY FREE 3 3 Venezuela PARTLY FREE 5 5 Guatemala* PARTLY FREE 3 4 Ecuador* PARTLY FREE 3 3 Paraguay* PARTLY FREE 3 3 Nicaragua PARTLY FREE 5 4 Cuba NOT FREE 7 6 Data from Freedom in the World 2012: The Arab Uprisings and Their Global Repercussions. (Ratings from collected 2011data) PR=Political Rights and CL=Civil Liberties; 1=most free and 7=least free rating. *indicates a countries status as an electoral democracy (as defined by Freedom House). By the UN definition, good governance includes a great deal of overlap with many of th e key features of democracies and is characterized by eight major traits. accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive and foll (UNESCAP, 1 ) According to this source, good governance assures that the views of the minority are taken into account and participate in the present and f


36 governance upholds the current and future needs of the public it serves laces the attributes of good governance with the goals of environmentally sustainable governance. Environmental Performance Index Methodology The Yale Environmental Performance Index (EPI) is used in this study as a base line for environmental performance comparisons. The EPI, developed through a partnership of Yale and Columbia University researchers centers on a narrowed set of categories outlining core policies areas of Ecosystem Healt h and Ecosystem Vitality as outlined in Figure 2.1. Overall, the EPI centers on the analysis of policy objective areas and indicators allotting the countries a nominal score which is then converted into a rank. A year by year analysis of EPI ranks serves a s a useful tool for comparing countries. Figure 2.1 EPI Indicators Source: EPI 2012 Summary for Policymakers. Alternately, Yale also provides the Pilot Trend Environmental Performance Index (Trend EPI). The Trend EPI measures and ranks countries by the change in their


37 environmental performance scores over the last ten years. Corresponding with the EPI ranks, the t rend provides an illustration of changes (improving or declining) over time (EPI 2012, 12). Although the EPI and its complementary Trend EPI serve as a point of departure, it is important to recognize that the data is limited. The limitations to statistic al review overall EPI and Trend EPI rankings by themselves should be understood only as (EPI 2012, 9). Furthermore, there are some concerns with the EPI data due to data collection bias and the possibility of missing data. For example, concerning the forest Although we believe the satellite remote sensing methodology used to construct the Forest Loss indicator to be sound, the method currently fails to account for reforestation as well as loss of forest. Therefore, as only a loss measure, it is not an ideal indicator to adequately assess performance in the forestry sector. (EPI 2012, 23) Therefore, i n order to overcome minor data issues and statistical analysis beyond the scope of this investigation, it is beneficial to further analyze the questions of interest through a case study format and through one indicator of interest. A more detailed analysis of the EPI, its methodology and its components is available in the report: EPI 2012: Environmental Performance Index and Pilot Trend Environmental Performance Index. 3 3 Located at: epi full report.pdf


38 Environmental Performance Indicators: Forests Ecosystem vitality is an objective of overall environmental performance. In the case of this study, the measure of Ecosystem Vitality is broken down into its designated components as shown in Figure 2.1. Of these components Forest Policy is selected for fu rther study. The indicator Forests is measured through three sub indicators: Forest Cover Change, Forest Loss and, Forest Growing Stock. Forest Cover Change Overall, the 2012 measure of forest cover change, measures the transformation in the forest cover of an area between the years 2005 to 2010, generally measurable through deforestation. The target measure of forest cover change is no change (0). This measure does not reward countries actively reforesting (or increasing the measurable forest cover) howe ver it does demarcate countries losing forest cover with a negative score. It is imperative to measure forest cover change in the analysis of forestry policy performance because change in forest cover is a widely used measure of the change in ent, which has important implications for ecosystem services and habitat coincide with both agricultural expansion and urban expansion and as a whole is considered to ha ve a negative impact on overall forest ecosystem health. The data used by the EPI measures trends in the extent of forests from 1990 2010 with data from the FAO, Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010. 4 It must be noted that this data measures total for est cover and does not distinguish between forest cover types. In other words, the EPI measure although imperative to the conceptualization of 4 Data located at:


39 spatial forest cover does not differentiate between the extent of primary forests and plantation forests. The dat a used is reported by national governments. Positive values in this indicator category designate reforestation and negative values show evidence of deforestation. Measures of change are calculated from cover area in the following years: 1995, 2000, 2005 an d 2010. Forest Loss Forest loss represents an area impacted by deforestation, from either human or natural causes (including forest fires, storms, and natural disasters). The Forest Loss indicator is a measure of forest cover loss. Quantifying the amount of forest cover lost collection concerning the aforementioned are not individu ally available across all of the countries included in the EPI Data study, a comparable proxy, percent of Forest Loss, Fore st loss data is obtained by the EPI through the University of Maryland in the form of GIS (Geographic Information System) grids covering the time periods 2000 2005, and 2005 2010. The data for the forest loss indicator is derived from satellite data. For m publication: Hansen, M., et al. 2010. Quantification of global gross forest cover loss ( Proce edings of the National Academies of Science ). 5 5 Available at


40 Forest Growing Stock Finally, the third variable considered in the evaluation of forest policy performance is Forest Growing Stock. The growing stock is a measure of the volume of standing trees of forest res ources. Thereby, an increase in the growing stock tends to signify a higher quality forest. The converse also remains true, in which a decrease in the growing stock indicates declining forest conditions. The data for this measure, growing stock in forest s, comes from the FAO, Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010. The FAO data covers measures in 1990, 2000, 2005 and 2010. The total growing stock includes the measurable volume of living tree parts r branched, twigs, foliage, measureable level of non declining forest growth. Forests in Latin America Then, considering the Environmental Performance Index, as seen in T able 2.2, there is wide variation among the Latin American countries. As exemplified by the EPI rank, overall, Costa Rica is the best performer in the region, followed by Colombia and th in the world among a number of highly industrialized countries. Cuba does not rank as well as Costa Rica overall (although it does rank equally with Argentina). Nevertheless, as was made clear in the previous chapter, different indicators have resulted in different outcomes. In the case of this study the indicator of interest is Forests. When concerning the environmental performance rankings of the year 2012, closer inspection of the forest indicator yields surprising results. Organizing the table by


41 the forest indicator, as shown in Table 2.3, it is apparent that Costa Rica, unsurprisingly, claims the top spot despite the fact that it is followed closely by the Dominican Republic and Cuba. However, for the scope of this study and the timeframe limitation s imposed on it, only Costa Rica and Cuba are selected for further analysis. Given more time it would be greatly beneficial to add a third country case to the study. However, for this study in particular, Costa Rica and Cuba are chosen mostly due to their seemingly stark differences in political institutions although very relatively similar forestry results. Taking Costa Rica and Cuba in consideration, both of these countries are relatively comparable concerning GDP per capita, population and land area. F urthermore, both countries maintain similar levels of development Costa Rica and Cuba rank 62 and 59 on the Human Development Index, respectively. 6 Table 2.2 Environmental Performance in Latin America 2012 (RANK) Country EPI_rank EH_rank EV_rank EVFOREST_rank Costa Rica* 5 51 6 27 Colombia* 27 86 11 96 Brazil* 30 75 16 101 Ecuador* 31 60 37 128 Nicaragua 35 87 15 131 Panama* 39 85 26 105 Uruguay* 46 47 74 78 Argentina* 50 46 77 107 Cuba 50 55 69 32 Venezuela 56 64 66 115 Chile* 58 39 85 69 Bolivia* 62 104 17 114 Jamaica* 63 76 58 82 Honduras 71 98 40 97 Dominican Republic* 72 83 64 32 Paraguay* 73 90 51 129 6


42 El Salvador* 75 82 67 117 Guatemala* 76 93 54 124 Peru* 81 99 53 94 Mexico* 84 72 86 95 Trinidad and Tobago* 96 69 107 99 Haiti 118 112 81 81 Data from Yale Environmental Performance Index 2012. *indicates a countries status as an electoral democracy (as defined by Freedom House). All ranks are on global scale. EPI rank= Environmental Performance; EH rank= Environmental Health rank; EV rank= Ecosystem Vitality rank; EVFOREST rank= Ecosystem Vital ity Forests rank. Table is ordered by EPI rank. Table 2.3 Forest Rank and Comparability across Latin America (2012) Country EVFORE ST rank FH 2012 P R CL GDP CAP GDP group POP Land area Costa Rica 27 FREE 1 1 10258.58 Middle 4658887 51452.02 Cuba 32 NOT FREE 7 6 9039.43 Middle 11257979 111269.62 Dominican Rep. 32 FREE 2 2 8386.92 Middle 9927320 48392.54 Chile 69 FREE 1 1 13595.90 Middle 17113688 757751.37 Uruguay 78 FREE 1 1 12902.74 Middle 3356584 176850.80 Haiti 81 PARTLY FREE 4 5 996.32 Lower 9993247 27193.52 Jamaica 82 FREE 2 3 7084.34 Middle 2702300 11059.52 Peru 94 FREE 2 3 8558.36 Middle 29076512 1293936.30 Mexico 95 PARTLY FREE 3 3 12498.34 Middle 11342304 7 1959126.88 Colombia 96 PARTLY FREE 3 4 8487.60 Middle 46294841 1144394.81 Honduras 97 PARTLY FREE 4 4 3515.76 Middle 7600524 113036.06 Trinidad and Tobago 99 FREE 2 2 23080.00 Upper 1341465 5188.19 Brazil 101 FREE 2 2 10055.89 Middle 19494647 0 8536317.62 Panama 105 FREE 1 2 12541.42 Middle 3516820 75796.79 Argentina 107 FREE 2 2 14362.62 Upper 40412376 2786353.16 Bolivia 114 PARTLY FREE 3 3 4352.61 Middle 9929849 1087070.75 Venezuela 115 PARTLY FREE 5 5 10805.45 Middle 28834000 917025.50 El Salvador 117 FREE 2 3 6048.05 Middle 6192993 20463.38 Guatemala 124 PARTLY FREE 3 4 4283.70 Middle 14388929 109666.23 Ecuador 128 PARTLY FREE 3 3 7325.00 Middle 14464739 258165.72 Paraguay 129 PARTLY FREE 3 3 4656.36 Middle 6454548 401294.15 Nicaragua 131 PARTLY FREE 5 4 2499.39 Middle 5788163 120835.96 Data from Yale Environmental Performance Index 2012 and Freedom in the World 2012: The Arab Uprisings and Their Global Repercussions. (Ratings from collected 2011data) All ranks are on global scale. EPI rank= Environmental Performance; EVFOREST rank= Ecosy stem Vitality Forests rank. PR=Political Rights and CL=Civil Liberties; 1=most free and 7=least free rating. GDP CAP = Gross domestic product per person; POP= Population.


43 Further Examination With the idea of good governance in mind, it is evident that Costa Rica is an ideal candidate for study concerning the role of democratic institutions on environmental st yle and environmental performance, it is possible that the links between democratic governance and positive environmental results may not be attributable to democratic institutions alone. Consider the island of Cuba. Although it maintains many of the sam e physical attributes and a very similar colonial past as Costa Rica, Cuba today is an autocratic country due to particular events in the evolution of its political history. Despite the ively high levels of environmental performance and continues to improve. The two countries are particularly comparable in their forest performance. Looking at the performance scores of Costa Rica and Cuba versus the performance trend score of both cases it is clear to see that although Costa Rica is rated higher Cuba is escalating in its performance overall and compared to its performance in the past. As is evidenced by Figure 2.2, both countries score to a level of higher s placement further up the y axis delineates a trend of improvement. Costa Rica on the other hand is not improving at the same rate, despite its higher scores overall.


44 Figure 2.2 Ecosystem Vitality Performance Score and Trend Score: Costa Rica and Cuba Compared Source: EPI the plot shows (from left to right) how well a country is doing overall compared to how much they are improving over time (bottom to top). Concerning the Forest indicator in Figure 2.3, Costa Rica ranks slightly above Cuba overall (both in performance and rank). On the whole, Costa Rica ranks 27 th globally, both in performance and trend, with a Forest Performance score of 95.3. Cuba maintains an overall rank (both in performance and trend) of 32 (globally) in Forest Performance and an overall score of 93.2. Both countries rank among the higher perf ormers in this indicator. Figure 2.3 Forest Indicator Performance Score and Trend Score: Costa Rica and Cuba Compared Source: the plot shows (from left to right) how well a country is doing overall compared to how much they are improving over time (bottom to top). Cuba Costa Rica


45 Concerning forest cover change, both Costa Rica and Cuba show very similar scores. Both countries have a current performance score of 100 with a trend score of 0 ranking 1 in both performance and trend (trend scores range from 50 to +50). Both countries rank among the top scores in the world. Figure 2.3 Forest Cover Cha nge Performance Score and Trend Score: Costa Rica and Cuba Compared Source: Both Costa Rica and Cuba show similar score and trend patterns concerning change in forest cover. The plots show (from left to right) how well a country is doing overall compared to how much they are improving over time (bottom to top). As seen in Figure 2.4, Costa Rica does score slightly higher than Cuba. Costa Rica scores 86.0 in forest loss performance ranking 43 (globally). Costa Rica does score a negative trend though with a 7.0 (on a scale of 50 to +50). Cuba performs slightly lower than Co sta Rica with a performance score of 79.7 and a rank of 53 (globally). Like Costa Rica, forest loss in Cuba has increased leading to a negative forest loss trend score: 10.2 (on a scale of 50 to +50). Cuba Costa Rica


46 Figure 2.4 Forest Loss Performance Score and Trend Score: Costa Rica and Cuba Compared Source: the plots show (from left to right) how well a country is doing overall compared to how much they are improving over time (bottom to top). Costa Rica scores a 100 for global performance in growing stock, ranking a 1. in performance trend showing no change in the percent of growing stock (0.0). The trend score coincides with a trend rank of 1. Cuba on the same hand scores a 100 in performance ranking a 1. Meanwhile, Cuba ranks 1 in growing stock trend perfor mance with a 0.0 in trend rank. Figure 2.5 Growing Stock Performance Score and Trend Score: Costa Rica and Cuba Compared Source: the plots show (from left to right) how well a country is doing overall compared to how much they are improving over time (bottom to top). Cuba Costa Rica Costa Rica Cuba


47 notable twenty years. The developments of national parks and deliberate environmental policies have been in place since the beginning of the Castro regime although the ir progress and scope of influence was small. Most active action has taken place since the 1992 Rio World Summit as such; many policies and management practices, despite their newness have accomplished a significant volume. It is important to ask then; do democratic institutions play a role in the progression of good forestry performance? Or, Are there other factors considerably more influential in the development of positive ecosystem performance?


48 Chapter 3 The evolutio n of Costa Rican Political Institutions From the Costa Rican independence well into the civil war (1948), politics were dominated by personalistic leaders stemming from the coffee oligarchy these leaders frequently used political violence and fraud to a chieve political goals. What is absolutely Thomas 1987:18 cited in Wilson 1998, 19). Early attempts at creating democratic institutions came from the top down imposition of ideas emulating the leading democratic institutions of the United States and Europe. Early Costa Rican constitutions for instance reflected the US constituti on and European liberal thoug ht. D espite following democratic models, it was not until 1889 that nearly seventy years a fter independence ( in an election in which only nine percent of the population participated ) (Wilson 1998, 19). One of the most significant details of this election is the fact that it occurred during the height of a coffee crisis. Instead of breaking in to conflict during this economic crisis, Costa Ricans did not incite further violence or a military dictatorship as may have occurred in other Latin American countries experiencing similar situations. This is due, in part to the fact that despite the incre ase in the accumulation of wealth for the coffee and sugar ranchers, there was also a simultaneous increase in national well being. This sense of well being helped


49 maintain stability even throughout the coffee crisis of 1899 (Pearcy 2006, 43). Throughout t he 19 th century, political issues were solved through mostly non democratic means. However, the early 20 th century gave light to positive changes and from the 1890s to the 1920s political stability improved. A new constitution Relative stability remained until the 1940s, particularly as World War II was coming to a close. In the decade prior, Costa Rica like much of the rest of the world suffered from the economic depression of the 1930s. The global economic crisis led to the strengthening and mobilization of domestic workers unions, in particular those pertaining to the banana industry. These groups eventually formed the Costa Rican communist party, this party although relatively strong was greatly feared by citizens and wary elites and policymakers. In th e end, the communist party was disbanded and deemed illegal. However, remnants of the dispersed party remained, playing a central if not controversial role in the civil war. The 1948 civil war was very much an uprising in response to the economic hardship felt by workers in the 1930s, many of which were suffering from high levels of unemployment and falling wages. Worker organizations mobilized at this time in protest of their circumstances Meanwhile Rafael Angel Caldern Guardia ran for the presidency i n the 1940 elections. In order to increase his support base, Caldern allied himself to the Vanguardia Popular; a contentious decision considering the fact that the Vanguardia was composed of the remains of the disbanded communist party. Caldern then incr eased his support by further allying himself towards the left, alarming conservative elites.


50 relieve the poorest citizens. His most notable actions in office include: the foun dation of the University of Costa Rica (1940), the creation of the Costa Rican Social Security Program (still in place today), the enactment of a minimum wage and an increased respect for workers rights (Pearcy 2006, 126; Wilson 1998, 30 32). After, Calde term in office came to an end; he was succeeded by Teodoro Picado Michalski who served as president from 1944 1948. The relationship between Caldern and his successor, Picado, was not unlike others seen historically leading to a controversial succes sion. 7 After Michalski, Calderon awaited reelection. However, perceiving that he would lose the election, the results were annulled by the congress, resulting in a forty four day conflict. The civil war was resolved through a negotiated pact and the exil e of Caldern. An interim government was instituted while peace and order were reinstated throughout Costa Rica has never seen such violence and political instability si nce. Figueres would be elected president in his own right in 1953. His ideas and suggestions were integrated in the final constitution. Concerning the advancement and further solidification of democracy, the new essive ideas, implemented a Supreme Electoral Tribunal and independent judiciary. The ideas presented in the Constitution although ahead of their time, were embraced by the Costa Rican public and formed the 7 Another similar case is the relationship between Russian leader Vladimir Putin and his successor Dmitry Medvedev, in which Putin remained close and at the ready to reclaim leadership from Medvedev. In cases such as th previous post as leader.


51 (Foster 2000, 215). Costa Rica has been able to maintain and integrate a hearty blend of both socialist and capitalist institutions under one constitution (Pearcy 2006, 128). The d the institutions to withstand the gradual to diversify agricultural exports, industrialize, and to build a social democratic welfare state (within the constraints of a developing country) that emphasized health education quality of life for Costa Rican citizens (Silva 2002, 147). Constitutional Changes leading to a Welfare State an d increasing role of the Public The constitutional changes made following the war framed a new perspective for policy goals. Costa Rica was able to initiate the beginning of its long running social welfare state. Remarkably, the abolition of a standing a rmy freed a great deal of funds which could then be funneled into alternate projects and policy goal areas. Most notably, unchained funds have facilitated the finance of education and healthcare programs. Building the identity of a social welfare state app ortions a certain value system into citizens over time in which the government is expected to manage national interests as well as national and public goods. This value system is reinforced by the democratic institutions in Costa Rica. The democratic insti tutions allocate to the public a number of tools with which to hold leaders accountable to citizen interests. In Costa Rica, public opinion is highly regarded by policy makers working to appease watchdog organizations and voters. Various NGOs maintain cons tant vigilance over the management of public


52 goods. Nature and natural resources, being public goods, are allocated a level of national protection under the watchful eye of citizen organizations and politicians working to appease citizens and international actors. Today Costa Rica remains a long running electoral democracy as considered by the Freedom House Index. The country has successfully held consecutive free and fair elections, including the past 2010 elections instating the first female president, Laura Chinchilla. As an electoral democracy the Costa Rican government is allocated rights have been universal, turnout has involved more than 77 percent of the adult po actively participate. Legislative decisions are made through consensus and negotiation. Legislative and Executive The president and the Legislative Assembly are elected for single four year terms (they can run for election for a second term but they cannot seek consecutive terms). The Legislative Assembly is unicameral and holds 57 seats. The constitutional term limits for the executive have led to some executive ineffici ency. Towards the end of the typical four year term support for the president wanes particularly among the legislative body, so the president effectively has 2 2006, 21). One of the molding factors to the formation of Costa Rican institutions is the role of the major political parties. The Costa Rican political system is built around a two party system. The two party system is a result of proportional representation,


53 simultaneous presidential and le gislative elections and campaign financing laws (Wilson 1998, 48 49). Parties The PLN or the Partido Liberacin Nacional is one of two main parties in Costa Rica. There are a number of third parties in existence, though most have little influence and tend to form coalitions with PLN or the ulterior major party of the moment. The PLN however, has had a greater influence in th e establishment of government institutions having had the benefit of being the party of the first Costa Rican government after the civil war. As such, the PLN has carried many of its party values into the government system such as the maintenance of public welfare. Currently, the major alternate party is the center right Partido Union Social Cristiano (PUSC). The PUSC generally adopts policy positions to the right of the PLN. Decentralization Also independent is the judicial branch whose members are elect ed by the legislature. The Costa Rican government has continually decentralized as evidenced by the implementation of Autonomous Institutions. The Autonomous Institutions have budgetary independence and do not have to answer to legislative or executive app roval. The Autonomous Institutions (AI) are delegated political power to manage specific issues and have served as an effective method of continuing policy goals past term limitations. Overall, the Costa Rican constitution has not undergone any major struc tural changes legislative relations (Lehoucq 2006, 8).


54 Civil Liberties Costa Rica maintains a high score on the Freedom House Index for civil liberties. As a free country, Costa Rica withho lds an independent and free media, freedom of expression and the freedom to associate and organize. Costa Rica is considered a middle income country which although continuously developing remains distinguishable because of its democracy as well as the qual ity of life its citizens enjoy (one far better than in most cases in the region). Despite its status as a developing country it maintains high levels of education, low child mortality and long life expectancies. These positive facets have all contributed t o the appeal Costa Rica holds to the international community, drawing not only tourists but also support from international organizations and institutions. Media and Information Overall, the Costa Rican Media is autonomous from the state. Generally, media is relatively free to cover sensitive political and social issues and to openly criticize the ccess is unrestricted. Information access is open in Costa Rica and education is highly supported by the social welfare system. Literacy rates and public spending on education are among the highest in Latin America. Freedom of Association and Organization The constitution does create the channels for the freedom of assembly and association. Numerous nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are active. The increase of global exposure to Costa Rica and to the potential of its institutions and its natural


55 resourc es has highlighted the capacity of domestic NGOs. Public assembly in Costa Rica does often yield policy influence as shown in the early ALCOA example. The massive student protest against American aluminum company, ALCOA, in 1970 reflects the beginning of p ublic involvement in environmental activism ( Coto 2010). organizations increased and mobilized despite heavy top down decision making at the time. The event reflected a societal disagreement with government decision making concerning environmental policy and marks the role of modern societal representation and policy vigilance in Costa Rica. The ALCOA protest frames the circumstances of underrepresen ted locals faced with the challenge of undertaking the negative externalities of a foreign company, ALCOA. The discontented community lost to ALCOA and turned earmarked the c onsistency of societal representation and the watchdog role it plays in policy making in Costa Rica, even at a time where command and control methods were preferred in the sphere of environmental policy. Since the 1970s, policy making has become more inclu sive and has further decentralized. Nongovernmental Organizations and Civil Society Costa Rica is rich with membership organizations. The existence and sustainability of organizations such as these says much about the stability of the Costa Rican democra cy. Furthermore, their strength comes from the effectiveness of societal respective causes working to raise environmental consciousness throughout the country, education, an d research and policy analysis (Silva 2002, 160). Balancing the increasing


56 increased. There are a variety of interests supported by these groups including environ ment and development; forestry in particular remains a significance concern. government counterparts t o improve 157). NGOs assume spokesperson positions for the ecosystem, social and ethnic groups as well as scientific interests; the focuses of their projects. The Costa Rican policy process involves negotiations with press ure groups. As such, these groups work towards exercising their representative roles in a way that will assure their influence in policy building. An example of this is the role of the CCT ( Centro Cientifico Tropical or the Center for Tropical Sciences). The CCT is frequently involved in the policy making process as exemplified through their leadership in the creation of SINAC (The National System of Protected Areas) in the 1990s. The organization works across party lines with both the PLN and the Christi an Democratic governments of Costa Rica. Policy Style: Coordination and compromise Cooperation and compromise among government agencies, domestic actors and for mulation routinely involves consultation with the sectors of organized civil society 156). Emphasis is placed on coordination and capacity building. Frequently, th is type of


57 consultation is institutionalized through the use of experts and advisory boards to ministries and government agencies. Despite the weight of the role of international agencies, organizations and funds democratic accountability to citizens rem ains relevant. However, Costa Rica has yet to effectively coordinate their acceptance of international funds with, generally, Costa Rican national environmental policy goals. Much of this involves the need to further integrate cooperation between agencies focused on specific environmental sectors. For instance, where Costa Rica is strong on forest policies they are still weak on pollution (as discussed, much of this involves funding and international and domestic support for conservation). Conclusions It democratic state stems (at least in part) from the institutions developed as a result of the end of the 1948 civil war. The country maintains a respect for free speech, freedom of info rmation and frequent and competitive elections. The governing bodies are given legitimate authority by the voting public. Similarly, policymakers remain electorally system e ncourage the continuity necessary to fulfill goals spanning long time horizons, often longer than presidential terms (either through Autonomous Institutions or coordination). Furthermore, this same system also allows cooperation between institutions partic ularly as funds are freed up from the lack of military and the level of public expectation towards the provisions of public goods. The discussed institutions founded the building blocks for a successful democracy and remained flexible and strong


58 enough to evolve when necessary accommodating regional instability, economic crisis and international pressures all while maintaining its values and the interests of its people and national goods at the forefront. However, although much of its policies are sustain ed through the democratic process and highlighted by it, some have been implemented from the top down. Despite, sometimes undemocratic initiations, overall societal representation and public values play a large role in the creation, implementation and enfo rcement of environmental policies, as will be discussed in the following chapter. It must be noted, that even though Costa Rican policymakers are publicly accountable international funds are also highly prioritized. Although all of the institutional build ing blocks are supported by a stable and highly democratic system, it is imperative to further analyze the results of the goals and policy implementations, particularly in regards to forest policy as will be done in the following chapter.


59 Chapter 4 The high level of tropical endemic species of flora and fauna, the tropical landscape, the cosmopolitan society and the political stability all appeal to researchers, scientists, businesses and tourists alike. As a resu lt of the global popularity received on behalf of its forest resources Costa Rica greatly benefits economically from preserving and have played a major role in the environmental and forestry policies that allow for the protection of these areas (and as a result the perpetuation of foreign dollar influx) are highly supported by once reluctant citizens and main govern ing bodies. In addition to the benefits of increased ecotourism and the attention given to ecological preservation an emphasis has also been placed on the economic and social benefits of a more protected and long lived forest system. Natural forests and ecosystems provide a number of valuable services benefiting the local citizens and Costa Rica at large, these "ecosystems provide services that include the pollination of crops, renewal of soil fertility, purification of water and the stabilization of the Snchez Azofeifa et al. 2007, 1166). On the grand scheme, global populations further benefit from the preservation of forested areas in Costa Rica because tropical forest areas serve to absorb atmospheric carbon and other green house gases. As su ch, in the interest of global climate change concerns international pressure to maintain and preserve the forested areas of the world have increased and contribute to the formation of national policies.


60 can be traced through three main periods (Brockett and Gottfried 2002 ) Among the most important developments were the national park system, the development of the Forest Law of 1996 and its amendments, and the payment for ecosystem services program. Most recently, Costa Rica has made notable changes in response to issues relevant to its role in the international arena. Forest conservation continues to be challenged by limited state resources, a growing population, and conflicting economic interests. An ove rview of the policies Costa Rica Environmental Policy Timeline 1969 Ley Forestal (Forestry Law) 1970 Launch of national park system (a long term project) 1973 Ley Forestal (reform) 1979 Ley Forestal (reform) 1986 Ley Forestal (reform) MIRENEM (Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy, and Mines) 1987 ECODES (National Strategy) 1989 Forestry Action Plan 1992 Rio Summit 1995 1996 Reform for new Forestry Law (7575) Establishment of FONAFIFO 1995 MINAE (Ministry of the Environment; with greater effectiveness) 1996 1998 SINAC (National System of Protected Areas) 1997 2001 Phase I of PES (Payments for Ecosystem Services focus on conservation) 2001 Phase II of PES 2009 Declaration of C arbon Neutrality Goals 2021 Goal for a Carbon Neutral Costa Rica


61 Evolution of Forest Policy The evolution of forestry policy can be traced through three main periods as delineated by Brockett and Gottfried (2002): Laissez faire period, interv entionist period, and the hybrid period. The laissez faire period included high rates of deforestation and little regulation. The interventionist period is characterized by state initiated protection for some wild lands. Policy results in this time period were mixed. The hybrid period, as it is referred by Brockett and Gottfried was often compromised by the competing interests of market oriente d and interventionist methods. Changes made in this time period have proven to be imperative to the evolution of current policies. Today, Costa global community in return for the environmental services Costa Rican forests provide for the world. Laissez faire ( 19 70s) Before the 1970s, agricultural development through land clearing and ranching was highly endorsed by the government as agriculture remained the top source of national income. Agriculture has been the probable cause of more than 80% of total deforestation in Costa Rica and a history of agricultural subsidies made land clearing more attractive (Brockett and Gottfried 2002, 16). Despite state encouragement for agricultural development (and as a result land clearing), over half of the land defore sted for agricultural use was unsuitable for farming (16). During this time the environmental services provided by forests including the protection of soil and water quality went unrecognized.


62 One of the greatest challenges faced by Costa Rica in its eff orts to increase the effectiveness of its forest conservation and sustainable forestry policies initiated from the surge of spontaneous settlements of this time. Squatters and settlers claimed land wnership remained informal. The Ley Forestal of 1969 (Forestry Law), increased control over spontaneous settlements it was difficult to enforce and by the 1990s 60% of farms still lacked titles (Brockett and Gottfried 2002, 14). Although Brockett and Gottf ried found that tenure security does not reduce the rates of land clearing, they argued that tenure insecurity can lead to greater deforestation (15). The uncertainty of eviction leads individuals to reap the benefits of the land before proper ownership is defined. Clear land ownership remains central to the effectiveness of forestry policy concerning payments of ecosystem services (PES) as will be latter discussed, furthermore, in order to obtain a permit to cut or clear forests a land title is required. Interventionist Regime (1970 1980s) The 1970s gave way to a number of policy implementations that created the estry policies have been built. The interventionist regime included a wider range of command and control style policies implemented, enforced, and monitored by the state. The main state initiated action in the forestry sector has been the creation of the national park system. The 1969 framework policy, Ley Forestal brought forestry governance to state and privately owned lands. The first Forest Law, ratified in 1969, launched a state forest agency and focused its efforts on the establishment of reforestation incentives however, it did not impose any restrictions of forest land use change ( McGinley 2008, 114).


63 Amendments to the Ley Forestal continued to increase the precision of policies during the interventionist regime including revisions in 1973, 1979, and 1986. This period began Cost reforestation, forest management and, forest preservation. National Park System The first national parks stemmed from the 1969 Forestry Law and through the personal support of influential individuals such as the first lady of Costa Rica, Karen Olsen de Figueres (Evans 1999, 78). The national park system encouraged cooperation between a bipartisan partnership of scientists and conservationists. This group incited action and ac tive participation from both those in the executive and administrative system world renowned park system, Mario Boza and Alvaro Ugalde, were both of opposing political pa rties (Boza with the more conservative Christian Unity Party and Ugalde with the more liberal PLN) despite their administrative partnership. As cited in Evans (1999): affiliations with opposing political parties so that no matter which side wins an election, has been kept the gears turning for the national park system, keeping it a live despite financial and administrative challenges. Even though deforestation rates in the 1980s highlight the progress made by the interventionist regime, deforestation had been so environmentally destructive there was little left to conserve in the first place. Although policy initiatives remained in the right


64 direction, the lack of cooperation and poor government capacity to monitor and enforce policies rendered deficient results and in some cases led to further deforestation. Figure 4.1 Distributi ons of National Conservation Areas in Costa Rica Source: (Sanchez Azofeifa et al. 2003, 128). NP=national park; 1 Guanacaste/Santa Rosa NP, 2 Tenorio Volcano NP, 3 Lomas de Barbudal NP, 4 Arenal Volcano NP, 5 Braulio Carrillo NP, 6 Tortuguero NP, 7 Cabo Blanco NP, 8 Carara BR, 9 Manuel Antonio NP, 10 Chirripo/La Amistad NP, 11 Cahuita NP, and 12 Corcovado Piedras Blancas NP. A N ew Ministry of the Environment Nearing the end of the 1980s the capacity of environmental policies was slightly enhanced. The first Forest Law was amended in 1986. The amendment established a system of reforestation payments and kept a minimum level of oversight for natural forest management. It became evide nt that perceptions had positively changed concerning forest resource use by the late 1980s ( McGinley 2008, 114) The 1986 initiation by presidential decree of the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy, and Mines (MIRENEM) led to more improvement. A reshuffling of departments and agencies accompanied this new institution. For example, the Forestry Service (DFG) was moved from the Ministry of Agriculture (MAG) to MIRE NEM. As a result, forestry


65 interests were able to increase their influence ( Brockett and Gottfried 2002 17) The agricultural interests of MAG often conflicted with the interest of DGF, impeding progressive policy in the forest sector. Despite the shift, the new ministry and its constituents remained ineffective mostly because of the expanse between San Jose (the governing capital) and the forested areas in question. There was not enough dedication, resources or political will from the bureaucratic bodies supporting forestry at the time. A National Strategy for Conservation The interventionist period also saw the initiation of ECODES (1987), Costa National Conservation Strategy for Sustainable Development ( Mendoza, Rolando. 1995, 46). Sustainability goals became a part of long term planning. In conjunction with the new Forest Law and an increase in international attention to the envrionment and sustainable development in 1989 Costa Rica published a forest action strategy as a For est Action Plan for which the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) played an advisory role (McGinley 2008, 114). The action plan included national level forest planning and incited a national diolouge over concerns and needs for a regulation plan for their use (McGinley 2008, 114). Overall, the interventionist regime was a time of transition for Costa Rican forestry policies, indisputably, at the time of initiation command and control style policies were necessary in order to propel policy action. Many of these policies were greatly criticized however because they remained policies on paper alone. The lack of field personnel and the lack of locally adaptive plans rendered some aspects of this era ineffective. The interventionist approach would have been more successful had it containe d a greater capacity for supervision and access to more resources. Aspects of this


66 regime led to disincentives for forest management such as the lack of local resources, monitoring and accessibility. As the problems of the interventionist regime became cle arer, changes occurred to address the lack of governing capacity. The Hybrid Regime (1990s) The second half of the 1990s saw some of the most dramatic insitutional restructuting to date. The Figueres administration moved to decentralize and increase co ordination. His presidency is responisble for the beginning of decentralization of natural resource managament and conservation both as a result of changes to the Ministry of the Envrionment and Energy (MINAE) and National System of Protected Areas (SINAC or the Sistema Nacional de Areas de Conservacion ). However, the plan for a new foresty law was not set in motion until 1995 and was surrounded by controversy: The executive branch engenieered significant administrative reform by decree, while the legisla weakness by posing a law that differed substainially from what the administration would have prefered. (Brockett and Gottfried 2002, 21) disagreements between interests. Actions continued to be put in motion further developing th e forestry regime. Many of the guidelines of ECODES were incorporated into the policy program of the 1994 presidential term (1986 1990) ( Mendoza 1995 39). ECODES set the agend a for a number of new initiatives including instituting the Forest Wildlife Act, the Forest Action


67 Plan and the Master Plan for Environmental Education (established and approved from 1991 1992) (43, 46). Overall, existing initiatives such as the National P ark service were strengthened. Most notably, ECODES granted constitutional status to environmetnal rights, ratified the UNCED Rio agreements, and led to the creation of citizen participation forums (44). The hybrid regime gave greater light to new aspect s of forest valuation in terms other than forest products. Ecosytem services such as biodiversity, water quality, and carbon sequestration became goals worth pursuing in addition to more traditional forest valuation in which timber stakeholders remained in terested The elemental aspects of the hybrid regime period include: an increase in the participation of stake holders, Costa Rican foresty producers, intellecutals and NGOs, a critical increase in the role of international actors, and an increased role fo r international funding. grass roots organizations also increased. The rise of grass roots organizations in the 1980s to 1990s coincided with an increase in interest for e nvironmental law (Evans 1999, 203). Volunteer organizations gained popularity and are reinforced by the high levels of Groups such as Asociacin de Voluntarios par el Servicio de las Areas Protegidas ( or the Association of Volunteers for Protected Areas) organize projects directly involving volunteers in conservation projects in national parks and reserves (Evans 1999, 204). 8 8 Citizens develop a heightened sense of value for forests through direct contact with the forest and conservation work. Other gr oups such as ARBOFILIA ( Asociacin Protectora de Arboles or the Association for the Protection of Trees) also work with local residents teaching alternative s to forest clearing (Evans 1999, 204).


68 Furthermore, these groups increase public e ducation and awareness for forests reframing them as national treasures. Finally, it is imperative to acknowledge relevant and recent developments concerning target groups with particular emphasis on the forestry sector. Unlike in the past, many producer s associations have been working towards and advocating for the development of sustainable forest use (Silva 2002, 152). For instance, the Costa Rican Forestry Chamber ( Cmara Costa Ricence Forestal) is one such organization representing the interests of l arge scale forest stakeholders. 9 Alternately, smaller and more localized interests are represented by the National Forest Peasant Association, Junta Nacional Forestal Campesina (Silva 2002, 162). Forest Reform of 1996 The Forest Law was reamended once mor e in 1990. With the third Forest Law (No.7174) the concept of forest managament planning and the prohibition of forest land use change was included. After the third law a move towards increased sustainability became centraland there were greater concerns over the quality of remaining forests. The formation of the Forest Law of 1996 (No. 7575) overrules all the preeceeding Forest Laws. The first Article deliniates a new prioritized role for increased regulation and pri oritization of the natural forest: The conservation, protection, and administration of natural forests as well as the resources, according to the principles of appropriate and s ustinable use, are 2008, 115). The 1996 Forest Law is foundational as it: 9 CCF members represent a range of interests and hold ownership of native forests, tree plantations as well as industries that manufacture wood products.


69 (i) recognizes environmental services provided by forest ecosystems; (ii) defines the role of the State in protecting forests as well as in promoting and facilitating private sector activities; (iii) decentralizes duties and responsibilities to local actors; and (iv) establishes that forests may only be harvested if there exists a forestry management p lan that complies with the criteria for sustainable forestry as approved by the State. (World Bank 2000, 2) The 1996 law covers a number of major points including the creation of mechanisims to increase stakeholder participation in policy making, the pr ohibition of tree cutting or converting private lands essential to biodiversity and watershed protection ( Article 2.), resticted conversion of forests to plantations ( Article 19), and the simplification of requirements and accessibility of the permitting system. By lowering the costs to legal (although regulated) tree harvesting, illegal logging overall was reduced. Furthermore, the legislation created the Oficina Nacional Forestal (ONF) consisting an array of representatives from stakeholder interests incl uding forestry producers and environmental organizations ONF serves as an advisory board to the Minister of the Environment (Article 7 11). In addition to the above changes, Law 7575 also created new economic policy instuments such as a new subsidy to p ay landowners contributing their private lands to ecosystem services (Article 22 27) and created the National Forestry Fund, (Fondo Nacional de Financiamento Forestal, FONAFIFO) for the financial support of forest related actions and of small and medium pr oducers (Article 46 57). The Ministry of the Environment: MINAE In 1995 the Ministry of the Environment was further developed through the General Environmental Law from MIRENEM to MINAE. It was finally granted greater coordinating power, making it a sub stantially more effective institution. Realistically the level of coordination and commitment was minimal even after the ministry was


70 established and agencies were organized more effectively until the ministers of MINAE to establish an authoritative domina One of the imperative tasks of MINAE is the increase of coordination, within the institution as well as with other ministries (such as Tourism, Transportation, and Health) which also maintain very important environmental components. Alternately to MINAE, other ministries and departments also play a role in the development and implementation of environmental policies. Those most involved in the area of forestry are the Costa Rican Tourist Institute, the Agrarian Development Institute, and also Environmental Committees and Agrarian Committees. The Tourist Institute, an autonomous institution (AI), promotes and regulates tourism including eco tourism ; as a result this AI and the secto r it represents maintains a vested interest in the well being of the environment and in the promotion of forest conservation. The Ministry of the Environment (MINAE) holds a superior role over institutional cooperation regarding forestry and frequently ta kes advantage of NGO resources. It is important to note that the minister and the vice minister of MINAE are appointed by the President and although it is not a particularly high ranking position, it is largely coveted because of its high level of public v isibility and the positive dimension it gives to the career credentials of politicians (Silva 2002, 157). National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) In an effort to decentralize and include greater democratizaton, the implementation of SINAC, through e xecutive decree, established concrete channels for public participation. The public could contact and take part in a number of regional


71 councils with a range of responsibilities and memberships (Brockett and Gottfried 2002, 26). The regional councils estab lished through SINAC also serve an advisory role to MINAE. The Costa Rican national park service gained greater strength and capacity once it evolved into a decentralized system of conservation areas through SINAC (Lopes Ornat 1997, 43). Public participation also played a role in the creation of SINAC. An example of this is the role of the CCT ( Centro Cientifico Tropical or the Center for Tropical Sciences). The CCT works across party lines and is frequently involved in the policy making process as exemplified through their leadership in the creation of SINAC in the 1990s. The CCT has also played an active role in the establishment and drafting of the Forest Law as well as through its project operations in the Monteverde Biological Reserve. Despi te a change in party leading the executive administration in 1998 with the election of Miguel Angel Rodriguez, the incoming administration retained and reimplemented SINAC into its own administrative stucture. A M Today, more than ever, we are seeing the results of the policies and frameworks of prior regimes and how their results work in conjunction with a web of new programs adapting the forest policy regime to a new era of increased international pressure and wit represented Payments for Ecosystem Services program considering that it highlights the culmination of over fifty years worth of policy developments. It is clear that overall, environmental


72 policy goals have come to the forefront and have been carried through a number of regimes. Payments for Ecosystem Services Costa Rica has led the world in its initiation of the Payments for Environmental Services or PES ( Pagos por Servicios Ambientales ) program. Three major laws set the groundwork for Costa Rica's PES program: the 1995 Environment Law (7554), the 1996 Forestry Law (7575) and the 1998 Biodiversity Law. To reiterate, the 1995 Environment Law, sets the accessibility and right for all citizens to a "balanced and ecologically driven environment" ( Snche z Azofeifa et al. 2007, 1166 ) The Forestry Law of 1996 sets the standard of "rational use" of all natural resources and forbids land cover change in forests. Lastly, the 1998 Biodiversity Law encourages the "rational use" of biodiversity resources and str ongly supports conservation ( Snchez Azofeifa et al. 2007, 1166).The PES program was implemented in two phases, the first in 1997 2000 and the second beg an in 2001 and continues today SINAC and MINAE are responsible for the implementation of the program and it is administered by FONAFIFO, the public forestry financing agency instituted under the Forestry Law of 1996 (7575). The initial funding for the program was instituted through a fo ssil fuel consumer tax (also established under the 1996 Forestry Law). The World Bank did provide a loan and a Global Environmental Facility Grant in support of existing contracts. A portion of the grant was intended to increase capacity for monitoring and administrative sectors of the environmental institutions involved in the PES program su ch as FONAFIFO, SINAC and MINAE (Snchez Azofeifa et al. 2007, 1167).


73 Phase I (1997 2000) The PES program was implemented in the first phase by three different contr acts for forest conservation, reforestation and sustainable forest management, respectively. Each type of contract bound its constituents to a different amount of time as well as different responsibilities. Forest conservation contracts for instance bound land owners to the protection of their existing forests (primary or secondary) for 5 years. This contract type in particular committed the land owner to make no changes to the land cover on their property. Considering that land use change and clearing is i llegal on non private lands, the PES contracts were meant to buy out land owners before they agreed to make changes to privately owned forest cover. Reforestation contracts forced owners to plant trees on agricultural or abandoned land and maintain the ref orested areas for 15 years. Finally, the sustainable forest management plans compensated land owners who outlined sustainable logging plans and maintained the discussed forest services through low intensity and sustainable logging. Payments and compensatio n differed through these three contract types. The first phase of the PES program encouraged conservation and responsible forestry through the amendment of institutional and legal gaps in the forest conservation policy framework. Here, private land owner s were compensated for the value inputs of either planted forest or natural forests existing on their land in the recognition of four main services: greenhouse gas mitigation, biodiversity, water quality and, scenic value. During this first phase, there we re some problems of representation as large land owners were disproportionally represented compared to smaller landowners much of this is because of large land owners had a greater accessibility.


74 The successes of this effort coordinated with "a significa nt drop in the national rate of deforestation from 1997 2000, relative to the high rates of forest clearing that occurred from the 1960s to the early 1980s" ( Snchez Azofeifa et al. 2007, 1166). According to Snchez Azofeifa et al., there has been a signif icant total increase in the volume of forest cover. A continuation of the progress by current means remains insufficient however to reverse the rate of forest fragmentation or to amend the isolation of preserved forest areas and national parks. In other wo rds, the PES program is most effective (concerning the preservation and sustainability of forest cover, a decrease in forest stock loss and a reduction in forest loss) in conjunction with other forest laws, guiding reforestation efforts towards rebuilding previous forests. Phase II (2001 Present ) The second phase of the PES program, ties in the Ecomarket project with support from the World Bank. The Ecomarket project involves the provision of a new and privately owned forests including protection of biological diversity, greenhouse gas mitigation, and provision of initial payment plan although with the assistance of the World Bank; a legal and regulatory framework was established. The PES program culminates in the surrender of the units of service by the land owners to the national government. The Costa Rican government then sells these service credits to actors in the international market. There are minimum and maximum limitations to the amount of land an individual ties to a contract. However, coalitions of


75 individuals can collectivize their service units through local non governmental organizations (Snchez Azofeifa e t al. 2007, 1167). On the whole environmental concerns have taken a new precedence in Costa Rican affairs. C urrent president Laura Chinchilla highlighted the importance of the natural resource capital contained in Costa Rica at the Rio+20 Summit in Brazil (Tico Times, 2012). Improvements in this sector are expected to continue particularly because s recent commitments to achieve carbon neutrality. The carbon neutrality goal was announced by former President Oscar Arias in 2009 with the promise that Costa Rica would be carbon neutral by 2021 (Tico Times 2012a). Although reaching carbon neutrality is a lofty goal, it remains a goal in the spot light through public support, 2011, Arias admonished his successor, President Laura Chinchilla, and her administration for b initiatives in the public eye through the media (Tico Times 2012). Working towards increasing neutrality the Costa Rican government in conjunction with groups such as the Nat Many important natural resources in Costa Rica are still privately owned however there is recogni tion of the national significance of these resources and a willingness from the public to partake in their preservation and national protection. For example, the Juan Castro Blanco Water National Park contains land critical to the protection of watershed s prings. These lands however are still mostly privately owned,


76 ( Ugalde 2011, Tic o Times). Overall, government dedication to reforestation projects has depended on strong dedicated leadership and continuous public support. Visible Progress from Action over Time: As noted in Figure 4.1, from Snchez Azofeifa et al. (2007, 1171), from the baseline time period of 1960 to 2005 there were significant declines in the rate of deforestation. These declines coincide with socioeconomic changes as well as the implementation of environmental policies and regulation programs. It is important to n ote the major drop in deforestation between 1997 2000. At this point the first phase of the PES program was instated. However, the PES program cannot be solely attributed with the decline of deforestation. A number of alternate inputs coinciding with the program also play a role. The conduct of Snchez Azofeifa conservation policies in place prior to the PES program left a significant impression on environmental performance. The policies impacting improvements in conservation include, for example the r estrictions on forest clearing presented in Law 7575. The idea that previous policies were significantly impacting the performance levels measured by Snchez environmental changes usually oc cur over long time horizons.


77 Figure 4.1 Changes in Deforestation Rates from 1960 2005 Source: Snchez Azofeifa et al. 2007, 1171. Figure 3. Note the arrow demarcating the beginning of the PES program In fact, Snchez Azofeifa the creation of national parks and biological reserves and the 1997 law, have very Azofeifa et al. 2007, 1172). In addition to policy influence, the fu nctions of other variables such as market prices need to be considered along with economic incentives to preserve ecotourism markets. The PES program is thereby only as effective as its predecessors and which has allowed it to effectively build on prior wo rk. This is not to say that the PES program is entirely ineffective ; on the contrary, it functions in conjunction with and as a result of the collective efforts of forest conservation programs and the policy learning from the development of these policies. It must also be noted that in the case of Costa Rica, the movement of forest policies and goals to the forefront of politics shows a positive relationship between interest in policy goals and institutional capacity growth concerning forest policies. Th e \ increase in capacity overtime coincides with an overall improvement in level of forest cover and a decrease in forest loss.


78 Despite the fact that the EPI data is unavailable prior to 2000, as is evidenced by Figure 4.3, Costa Rica has consistently improved in its forest conservation performance from 2000 2010 (with only two minor exceptions in 2006 and 2008 although this change in rank is minimal and shadowed by the improvement shown from 2000 to 2004). Figure 4.3 EPI Historical Rank for Costa Rica: Forest Data from Yale Environmental Performance Index 2012. Note performance overtime indicated by rank in which a lower number indicates a higher ranked position and the X axis is Year. As indicated by the graph Costa Rica has consistently improved overtime. The reforestation efforts discussed are illustrated in Figure 4.4. The specific efforts to establish and develop of the national park service and the system of protect areas also hig hlights improvements in forest cover, from Figure 4.4 it is apparent that forest cover has increased surrounding areas designated for protection. 101 83 64 44 31 31 32 31 32 27 27 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 EPI Historical Rank Trend: Forest EPI Historical Trend Forest


79 Figure 4.4 Forest Cover change in Costa Rica 1940 2005 Source Rekacewicz et al. 2009; Snchez Azofeifa et al. 2003. Forest cover has increased over time particularly surrounding areas of already nationally protected lands. As seen by the overlay of the forest cover map of 2005 and Figure 4.1


80 Chapter 5 Institutions The island of Cuba remains a full autocracy despite being only 90 miles from the inst itutions are grounded in Soviet style ideology and a strong, top do wn, personalistic rule. Maintaining the Cuban Communist Party (PCC) interwoven into all aspects of civic, of party ideology with the long lived Castro regime its c enter. This chapter will discuss the evolution of the political institutions in Cuba in order to frame decision making style and policy implementation of forest policies in the proceeding chapter. First, the Cuban revolution will be briefly discussed in order to comprehend the political and structural adjustments occurring as a result of the regime change. After setting the grounds for discussing political changes, the role of ideology and the Communist Party will be discussed. In particular, I will illus trate the structural parallels and value continuities of the making apparatus. reedom House Index. Particular attention will be paid to the s ub components of the Freedom House Index (Political Rights and Civil Liberties) and how these components subsist in the Cuban context.


81 A String of Long Term D ictators Prior to the Cuban Revolution, hallmarked by iconic visions of bearded revolutionaries in olive green fatigues, Cuba was ruled by a heritage of long term undemocratic, military dictators (Cuba Review 2007, 7). The dictator ruling the island prior to the Cu ban Revolution of 1959 was Fulgencio Batista; he ruled the island for 25 years as an ultra right wing military leader and fled on January 1, 1959 as Fidel Castro's movement took control (7). Fidel Castro sought to consolidate his newly acquired power by im prisoning or executing any opposition inciting the flight of thousands of Cubans from the island (7). In 1961, President Fidel Castro declared his Cuba a socialist state, a declaration inciting tense relations between the island and the United States (7). As such, the island instead developed close ties to the Soviet Union, receiving preferential treatment and aid. Once the Soviet Union collapsed in the early 1990s the Cuban economy collapsed as well. The lasting imprint of Fidel Castro remains even after he formally resigned the in command) assumed the presidency temporarily in 2006 and then was formally elected in 2008 with 99% of the vote (Freedom House 2013a ). Rau l Castro continues the ideas and values of his older brother s polices, essentially serving as a formalized stand in for an elderly Fidel Castro. Despite the continuity of centralized socialist ideology seen at the have been implemented particularly concerning economic policy (the changes made by Raul are unsurprising however as economic ) tista traded one long term ruler for another.


82 One Party, One State The evolution of Cuban political institutions stems from Cuban revolution of 1959 and the establishment of a socialist state. The Cuban Communist Party is the only legal political party i n Cuba, established in 1965 (Prez 2006, 343). The first initiation of public participation in the political system began in 1974 with the Poder Popular it exists tod ay was consolidated after the implementation of the Cuban constitution in 1976 in which the role of the party was delineated and the administrative provinces were set (344). Prior to the solidification of the constitution Fidel Castro ruled by decree (Cuba Review 2012, 64). The Cuban system of governance is modeled after the Marxist Leninist socialist models in which policymaking is shaped by the fact that the Cuban Communist Party is paralleled with the state and integrated into nearly all sectors of civic life. The severity with which party planning and involvement once dominated all aspects of social and civic life has been subdued since Raul Castro has taken up the position of President (along with some slight economic reforms). The communist party is integr ated not only into the decision making process but also into a number of political organizations including organizations of professionals and those involving particular interests (PCC web). In this regard, there are little to any autonomous groups or a civil society free to act independently of the state. However, with the increased economic reform and some experimentation in the addition of some capitalist aspects to the state economy, there has been and continues to be an increase in non party centr ic organizations (more based on interest). Neverthe less, one party rule remains the only standard in Cuba and it is clear that the PCC is king.


83 The Cuban Communist Party The Cuban Communist Party (PCC) is the only party legally recognized by the Cuban Constitution and any political organization outside of this is prohibited. According to the CIA Worldfact B Cuba's Communist Party is the only legal party, and officiall (CIA WorldFact Book). The Cuban Communist Party controls all aspects of the Cuban government from the local to national levels. The PCC is at the center of a one party model akin to the Marxist Leninist system of the Soviet Union. The fundamental bodies of the PCC include the politburo, a central committee and a secretariat. Every five years the party convenes in a party congress at which detailed economic, political and social planning takes place. ve year planning is analogous to the Soviet decision making process. The topics under planning can vary from increasing funding to the education system to the organization and agenda setting of ecological commitments and goals. The Fifth Party Congress in concept of sustainability as well as the economic measures needed in light of the Soviet Collapse. The party also uses the congresses to ideologies into state issues and goals. S ince the initiation of the PCC there have been six party congresses in the years: 1975, 1980, 1986, 1991, 1997, and 2011 ( Buro Politico web). The Central Committee meets regularly between party congresses; it currently contains 113 members and is led by party leader, Raul Castro, who holds the title of first Politburo. The current political bureau of the central committee of the Communist Party of Cuba was elected at the six th congress of the party in 2011 ( Buro Politico, Web). The


84 politburo can be seen as the executive arm of the PCC. It contains the first secretary of the central committee and the second secretary as well other executive committee members. Overall, the part y sets policy but it is implemented by the state. The State The state is structured in parallel with the Communist Party. The Cuban government is divided into an executive branch, a legislative branch, and a judicial branch. The one party structure of the government is reflected by the role of the party leader as one and the same with the state leader. Furthermore, the one party system lends itself to the personalistic rule for which Cuba is well known. The 1976 constitution set the presidential system of government, concentrating power in the executive branch (Prez 2006, 267). At this time, local government was also formally established into 169 municipalities (267). Despite the supreme leadership of the party leader the government is divided into three s eparate branches with legislative representatives from each of the provincial and municipal sectors of the state. However, it must be noted that there is a institutional structure s. The National Assembly maintains constitutional and legislative power ( Parlamento Cubano, Web ) The National Assembly is not a representative body, even though the number of seats allocated to each province is based on population, the members are commissions to serve five The legislative branch is made up of the unicameral Asemblea Nacional del Poder Popular or the National Assembly of People's Power. Th e National Assembly is made up 614 total


85 members serving five year terms. As of the last election, all of the seats in the National Assembly are filled by members of the PCC. According to agreements made at the Second Party Congress of the PCC, the Natio channels of mass public participation have been established ( Congresso Cubano Resoluciones aprobadas por el II Congreso 1980, p. 452 460 ). The National Assembly's responsibilities include the election of the president, vice president and judges of the Cuban Judicial Branch or the People's Supreme Court ( Tribunal Supremo Popular ). Again, because candidates are preselected by a council of the PCC the elections are not highly representative. Tribunal Supremo Popular is also dominated by the executive branch. The Council of State led by the president, Raul Castro, controls the courts and the judicial process. The judges of the Supreme Court are The executive branch is led by the party leader and is the strongest sector of the C uban government system. For fifty years this position was filled by Fidel Castro, the term standing regime is upheld today by his brother Raul Castro. Raul Castro has long in command. The executive heavy Castro regime is profoundly involved in many sectors of the government in which policy is made and enforced from the top down. Although Cuba's government structure includes powers for the executive branch the legislative branch and the judicial branch, is undeniable that the role of the executive is uncontestable. The president is the chief of state and the head of government


86 thereby, it is easiest to understand contemporary Cuban politics as a synon ym for Castro politics. uthoritar ian S tate Every five years as designated by the 1992 constitution, elections are held coinciding with the PCC congresses to fill the 609 seats of the National Assembly of People's Power (Sweig 2009, 21 4). Figure 5.1 traces the parallels of the PCC and the State. State elections of preselected candidates are held at municipal and provincial levels members elect the members of the executive powered Council of State, which contains 31 members. The Council of State hierarchy contains the president of the council, a first vice president and five vice presidents. A central detail to note is the fact that the president of the Coun cil of State is also the president of the republic as well as the commander and chief of the military. The Council of State then appoints the cabinet containing the council of ministers for the various sectors of the government. Due to the fact that the executive led Council of State (headed by the President) appoints cabinet of ministers, the president has a direct say in the various sectors of government headed by ministers despite their delegated powers. Reinforcing the top down style of Cuban policyma king, the president maintains direct input in sectors ranging from education to environmental protection. Realistically, there is not a great deal of oversight power or veto power in the system as evidenced by an electoral system in which members of one br anch of government are also heading other factions in the alternate governing branches.


87 Figure 5.1 Parallel Hierarchies of PCC and State Structure in Cuba Diffusion of Personalistic Objectives The 1976 Cuban constitution clearly and purposefully establishes the role of the PCC as a central component of the political institutions governing the state. Article 5 of r eflecting Mart and Marxist Leninist ideals, the organized vanguard of the Cuban nation, is the top leading force of society and the State, organizes and directs the common efforts toward the high end of the construction of socialism and progress towards C ommunist 10 The diffusion of top down party rule is evident in all sectors of Cuban governance. 10 English translation by the researcher from the original: "El Partido Comunista de Cuba, martiano y ma rxista leninista, vanguardia organizada de la nacin cubana, es la fuerza dirigente superior de la Municipal and Provincial Elections (Of pre selected PCC only candidates) National Assembly Power Council of State ( President, 1 st Vice President, 5 Vice Presidents, and 31 members) PCC First Secretariat (Fidel/Raul Castro) Politburo ( The executive committee of PCC, Elected by Central Committee ) Cabinet (Council of Minist ers) President & Chief of State ( Fidel/Raul Castro) Central Committee (Meets regularly) Party Congress ( Every 5yrs elects) STATE PCC


88 Due to the fact that the Cuban system is comprised of command and control policy norms, with minimal public and political oversight, particular polici es and goals chosen by the president are implemented with full force at all levels of governance. Leading both the party and the state affords the president a high degree of command freedom impacting and infiltrating society from various levels and ruling, when necessary, by decree. It is easy to conceptualize the role of personalistic rule and the absence of institutional paralysis issues in the manner in which Raul Castro has been able to make sweeping economic changes in the country in the short time he has been president. Although the local bodies of popular power and the existence of pseudo elections (one party election are hardly competitive) of PCC members delineate some sort of channel for public participation in state policy making, the role of p ublic participation is very limited. The established channels between governing bodies and the public function more as a means through which government mandated rules can be diffused down into the public and the multiple sectors of society and provincial g overnment. Institutional Changes after the Cold War Overall, the make up of Cuban political institutions is similar to that seen in the Soviet Union prior to its collapse in the early 1990s. Following a Marxist Leninist model themselves, Cuba was able to forge a unique partnership with the Soviet Union whic h included preferential trading terms and the support of a world leader (the US policies against Cuba left Cuba alone in a bipolar world until ties were forged with the USSR). Sociedad y el Estado, organiza y orienta los esfuerzos comunes hacia los altos fines de la construccin del socialismo y el avance hacia la sociedad comunist a." Source:


89 on demarcated the emulation of S oviet sty le approaches to a number of sectors of Cuban political and social life particularly concerning agricultural and industrial production (and resource use). Once the Cold W ar was coming to a close and the Soviet Union was collapsing, the preferential terms previously allocated to Cuba became moot leaving the island economically and politically isola ted. The end of S oviet aid shocked the economic and in a time of peace meaning budgetary tightening and an immediate demand for greater efficiency; Cuba found itself restricted by its extremely limited resource base. This period of economic ti ghtening incited new goals and need to revitalize national unity and strengthen the role of PCC ideology without the USSR. The loss of S oviet aid laid the Cuban revolution on the line. Within the Cuban one party personalistic structure, there is little roo m for ideas and goals which are not explicitly planned. Changes in Constitutional Rhetoric: Shifts in political goals reframing to reflect the end of the Soviet approved a new Constitution in 1992 in which Soviet ideological references are toned down and nationalist references to Jose Mart (a national hero and symbol of unity from ighlighted (Sweig 2009, 127). The PCC was made Vladimir Lenin (128).


90 The new constitution did make incremental changes to some decentralization and slightly expand representatives at the provincial and municipal levels). All the candidates however were still from a slate of PCC members. The tiny window opening political thought within the approved party institutions contemplated the roles of the state, the scope of civil society and the role of emerging NGOs between 1993 1995, this time allowed for some civil societ y to exist without direct affiliation of the state, as long as activities remained apolitical and were not considered oppositional activism (Sweig 2009, 153). After 1995, the window was closed and groups, especially those associated with international orga nizations, were tightly controlled and monitored. At this time Fidel was working to reestablish a sense of ownership among Cubans towards the home grown aspects of the revolution. Diplomacy for an Isolated S tate The 1990 s brought Cuba into the post Cold war era alone. With assistance gone from the USSR and continued ostracization from the United States, Cuba sought new partners elsewhere working to integrate itself into the international system. Even though Cuba remains largely unwelcome among the US hea vy Bretton Woods institutions, the island has worked to develop its international relations. Specifically, Cuba has worked to develop clout in the United Nations and to maintain participation in multilateral diplomacy (Sweig 2009, 195).


91 Despite influential changes in the Cuban system it remains to this day entirely which there is open political competition and a respect for civil liberties in addition to an independent media and significantly independent civic life. Free countries are generally able to maintain these conditions through a strong rule of law and low corruption. The Freedom House Index identifies Cuba as state that is not free; with a score of 7 for political rights and 6 for civil liberties. Taking into consideration that a score of 1 is Most Free and 7 is Least Free on the Freedom House Index, it can be determined that Cuba, by these standards, is not free. Due to th e fact that civil liberties and basic political rights are Free ( Puddington 2013, 4). As the Freedom House index is used as a proxy for level of democracy, in this analy sis, Cuba is not considered a democracy. Breaking down the Freedom House Index into its main components Political Rights, Civil Liberties, and Freedom of Press we can tease out the democratic or non democratic characteristics of the evolution of political institutions in Cuba. Political Rights Since 2001, Cuba has consistently received a score of 7 for political rights. It is not an electoral democracy and since the Cuban Revolution in 1959 Fidel Castro (President from 1960 to 2006) and his brother Raul Castro, current president, have ( Piano et al. 2011 ). The Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) controls all aspects of the Cuban government from the local to national


92 level. The PCC is the only legal political party in C uba and any political organization outside of this is prohibited. Additionally, political dissidents of any kind are imprisoned with frequency. Civil liberties Civil liberties such as freedom of the press are also suppressed in Cuba as the media is contr olled by the state and by extension the PCC. The independent press is considered illegal and access to information from abroad is highly restricted (Piano et al. 2011, 13). Information is also controlled by the government. Information that is unapproved by the government is illegal and internet access is extremely restricted. Furthermore, academic freedom is also greatly restricted, as such; teaching materials in academic institutions must contain ideological content. Furthermore, even through civil liberti es are highly restricted, the constitution does grant some limited rights of assembly and association. However, assemblies are legal only to the extent that they do not exist and work against the goals of the socialist state (Piano et al. 2011, 13). The Co uncil of State led by the president, Raul Castro, controls the courts and the judicial process. Free speech is not protected under the Cuban constitution. Conclusion personalistic rule of the Castro regime. Commencing with the 1959 revolution, Castro charismatic style and his zeal for the spirit of the Cuban Revolution. Overall, the one party system and the political closeness in Cuba make the state defunct of democracy as defined by the Freedom House measures. However, at certain strategic times, political

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93 institutions have evolved to include some limited amounts of political openness. Castro has been adept at molding the institutions and the values of the party and governing system to fit into the schema of his policy goals as well as to maintain stability. Furthermore, Cuba has been proficient at adapting itself to major changes after the Cold War such as the drive for increased economic efficiency and sustainability as well as the nd internalize international policies despite its autocratic system as long as the policies are to the countries national interests. succession as party and state leader it is easy to see that there is little veto power allocated to the other branches of government. This is most evident through the direct leadership by the Castros of t he Council of State and the Politburo (both are the direct executive components of the state and the party). With the same leader at the top of both factions of a one party system the reinforcement of executive power throughout the levels of government is encouraged. The high level of overlap between state and party increases the dependence of career politicians on their dedication to the party and by proxy the regime leader. Vetoing, unless it comes from Fidel or Raul or is a directly delegated power from them to a sector of governance, is unlikely. However, the lack of opposition does assure that goals and policies set by the government are implemented and carried though the levels of governance from top to bottom. Cuba, although characterized by its com mand and control policy style has allowed at times for some limited political opening and for some very limited flexibility of civil

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94 society. Mainly, Cuba has allowed for societal participation in areas not directly oppositional to the state and the party. Directly non political associations have greater opening than otherwise. However, for the most part, civic association is demarcated by deep ties to the PCC and government funding. It is undeniable however that the decision making style dominant in Cuba can government has been able to mobilize citizens around certain aspects and issues and adapt their policies accordingly further strengthening the ability for the long standi ng Castro regime to implement policies and see them through. The ability of the regime to environmental and forest policies as will be evidenced in the following chapter.

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95 Cha pter 6 the party state has not always prioritiz ed sustainability in juxtaposition to alternate development goals. Cuba did however turn around and reshuffle not only its environmental administrative bodies but also its development priorities. Before Cuba began emphasizing environmentalism it was focused on increasing production and amplifying its economic growth potential. Much like the Soviet Union centralized planning for greater production capacity outweighed environmental repercussions. In particular, Cuba was focused on growing its sugar industry. In order to expand sugar plantations large expanses of forested lands were cleared. Forest clearing for the sake of agricultural expansion, however, is not conducive to positive environmental results. This chapter will trace political changes made in Cuba th at have led to the production of a cover back to twenty Leading the way with promising pro environmental language in the constitut ion it is easy to see the top down implementation of environmental policy action. As such this in the Constitution of 1976 outlines the role of the natural environment in the context of Cuban socialism. The Article states: Article 27 To ensure the welfare of citizens the state and society will protect nature It is incumbent on the responsible agencies and on each citizen to ensure

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96 that the waters and air are maintai ned in a clean condition and that the soil, flora and fauna are protected. ( Constitucin 1976). 11 Article 27, situates environmentalism and the value of protecting natural resources within the frame of anthropocentric socialist ideology. Due to the fact t hat socialist values are ingrained into every aspect of Cuban life and into all sectors of governance, the values of sustainability and environmental protection can also be integrated into these sectors. Furthermore, keeping environmentalism tied to social ism the state is better capable at integrating sustainability into various sectors of governance. Furthermore, ensuring the public a constitutional right to a protec ted environment and assigning the public the duty of maintaining the natural resources in sustainable conditions increases the stake the public has in the maintenance of these resources. istory fluctuated between extreme resource exploitation and the more fru gal resource practices in the the effects of deforestation caused earlier in its history and is presently still working to increase its land cover. This chapter will delve into the reforestation programs and the shift towards increased sustainability, particularly in the forest sector. What is significant increased from the 1950s through 1990s while at this time forest cover worldwide was, on average, steadily declining (World Resources Institute 2003). 11 Original in Spanish. Constitucin de 1976 / 1976 Constitution http://pdba.georgetown. edu/Constitutions/Cuba/cuba1976.html Art. 27 Para asegurar el bienestar de los ciudadanos, el Estado y la sociedad protegen la naturaleza. Incumbe a los rganos competentes y adems a cada ciudadano, velar porque sean mantenidas limpias las aguas y la adm sfera y se proteja el suelo, la flora y la fauna

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97 The evolution of Cuban environmental performance falls into three eras of environmental policy making: pre revolution, revolutionary regime, and the Special Period This chapter will delineate the laws and policies established in these three eras and then discuss environmental performance overall through these three environmental regime eras. Within each period, major stakeholders, institutions and policies will be discussed. A particular focus will be given to the P also be discussed as a safety precaution in order to establish a basis of understanding of Cuban environmental politics and to refrain from falsely attributing environmental performance to policy behaviors possibly occurring after the revolution. An overv forestry performance is as follows: Cuba Environmental Policy Timeline 1959 Revolution reforestation projects 1976 Constitution, Article 27 Establishment of COMARNA 1981 Law 33 National System of Protected Areas 1992 Rio Convention Change in constitution Establishment of National forestry action plan 1992 1994 Administrative restructuring Absorption of COMARNA into CITMA Decree 118 implementation of Rio initiatives, increased public participation 199 7 Law 81 1998 Ley Forestal (The Forestry Act) establishment of FONADEF (funding, under ministry of finance) establishment of Direction National Forestal goal of 27% forest cover by 2015 Cuba before the Revolution ( 1959) characterized by imperialistic resource exploitation and little regard for the negative

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98 externalities of agricultural expansion and lumber extraction. Despite the heavy blows of econ omic growth and agricultural expansion in Cuba, there were some initiatives for the protection of natural areas. 1926 saw the implementation of Decree 495, prohibiting the clearing of wooded areas belonging to the state or to private land owners (Monzote, (Diaz Briquets 1996, 426; Houck 2000, 14). Protected areas became more common and were fragmented throughout the island however; their protected status was mostly offi cial on paper alone. Considering the developing status of the country, more often than not, the priority of economic growth surpassed any motions to improve environmental protection and performance; this became especially true as Cuba embraced the Soviet t rend to and early into the Cuban revolutionary period. The Revolutionary Era (1959 1989) The revolution brought a number of changes to Cuba The envir onmental secto r was no exception. Following the revolution, the US left Cuba to its own devices. As such, the island was able to exert greater sovereignty over its natural resources; this is significant considering the fact that the revolution incited not only regime ov erhaul and political reform but the establishment of environmental reform as well. With the new revolutionary government in place, the state claimed title to the countries forest resources. As such, throughout the revolutionary period policies were impleme nted to forest products. The revolutionary era set a new frame of conservation strategies from which later policies could evolve.

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99 During this time, major efforts to increase forest cover ensued. The law that set Ley de Repoblacion Forestal (Reforestation Law) of 1959 (Diaz Briquets 1996, 426). This L aw designated nine national parks (426). Reforestation projects began in order to reforest the denuded mountainsides inherited by the revolutionary government. At the beginning of the twentieth century, forests covered over half of the Cuban landscape, by 1959 forest cover was significantly reduced to around 14% (FAO 2002, web). In order to combat the effects of deforestation, the Castro government began plantation reforestation in the 1960s as a part of a reforestation framework under the management of the National Institute for Forestry Development and Use ( Insitituto Nac ional de Desarrollo y Aprovechamiento Forestal INDAF) (Diaz Briquets 1996, 247; FAO 2002, web; Lambert 2008, 24). The first attempts at plantation reforesting were not meticulously planned. Fast growing tree species, such as eucalyptus, were first used, o ften times the species selected for reforestation efforts was inappropriately matched to the location of planting (FAO 2002, web). Later reforestation efforts were better planned and took into consideration development and agricultural needs as well as eco system needs, varying species in coordination with production needs. Through the 1970s over 300 state owned plantations were established. According to the FAO, the majority of the state established plantations have been set in place mainly for the security of water and soil resources (protection against erosion) (FAO 2002 web ). The reforestation efforts in the early revolutionary period also served to increase employment and development in the more rural parts of Cuba, further supporting goals of improving social conditions. Early on, the support for Castro

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100 reforestation plans garnered volunteers and throughout the span of the revolutionary period (1959 1991) forest cover increased from 14% in 1959 to 19.5% in 1991 (Lambert 2008, 26). The 1976 Constitution and Arrangement of a Green Administration socialism with the inclusion of environmental commitment in the constitution and with the establishment of the Nationa l Commission for the Environment and the Conservation of Natural Resources (COMARNA) in 1976. COMARNA however, acted principally as an advisory body (it had little regulatory power) and dealt with a wide array of environmentally related issues. It remained overall, subordinate to the State Committee on Science and Technology (Whittle and Santos 2006, 78). COMARNA was temporarily dissolved with the dissolution of the State Committee on Science and Technology. Law 33 and Decree 118 In 1981, the Cuban Nation al Assembly implemented Law 33 ( On the Protection of the Environment and the Rational Use of Natural Resources) a broad law dealing with environmental issues. This law was progressive; however it lacked the enforcement mechanisms to make it a pragmatically effective law (Houck 2000). Law 33 implemented the planning and establishment of a new environmental regulatory system. In order to functionalize Law 33, Decree 118 reestablished COMARNA as the environmental regulatory body in charge. COMARNA became a per manent commission of the council of ministers and included within it different regional representatives from the different provinces of Cuba (Whittle and Santos 2006, 78).

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101 The environmental regulations proposed by COMARNA were subject to state approval. COMARNA responded straight to the executive committee and did not belong to any particular ministry, despite this semi autonomy; it remained a weak institution and was not effective at enforcing its regulations. Mostly, COMARNA was limited by its lack of c apacity and legal tools (Whittle and Santos 2006, 78). In other words, COMARNA is did not have an environmental impact assessment or a system of licensure in which forestry activities could be approved and managed. Therefore, the institutional body was lac king the authority to regulate its policies and did not have a set standard to uphold its policies to. Furthermore, the institution was greatly ineffective because it withheld a conflict of interest with responsibilities to both protect and exploit the env ironment in order to increase production (78). Revolution: Reforestation The revolutionary period was imperative to the establishment of the forest policy framework a nd began the groundwork for reforestation efforts along with the establishment of an administrative structure for environmental protection and resource management. The Special Period (1990 today) With the end of the Soviet Union, Cuba needed to revamp i ts plummeting economy and rapidly adapt to its new circumstances. Having to rely on its own limited resources in an international system, without the assistance of the Soviet Union or the United States, Cuba turned to a strategy of sustainability to meet i ts economic and

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102 development goals. The Special Period increased the need for sustainability in every sector becoming precedent throughout the Cuban government. of an internat ional sustainable development regime catalyzed by the 1992 Rio Summit. strategies for Fidel Castro decided to move the country toward improved economic growth coupled with increased environmental conservation efforts by integrating them into national plans for developm expresses a position of urgency towards environmental awareness in which it is evident that Castro truly took the issue as his own (Castro 1993). the Summit, sustainability was integrated into the goals for creating a more sustainable global and national society then the Cuban constitution was changed to explicitly delineate the role of the state in protecting the environment and national natural resources and ensure the maintenance of the environment overtime. The reformed constitution reads: Article 27 The State shall protect the environment and natural resourc es of the country Recognizes the close links with the economic and social development to make human life more rational and ensure the survival welfare and safety of current and future generations Corresponds to the competent bodies to implement this pol icy It is the duty of citizens to contribute to the protection of water, air soil conservation flora, fauna and all the rich potential of nature 12 ( Constitucin 1976 with reforms through 2002) 12 Spanish in original, Constitucin de 1976 con reformas hasta 2002 / 1976 Constitution with reforms through 2002 (en espaol).

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103 After the constitutional reform, Article 27 recognizes the role of the environment in creating a closer link to social development and economic development, both goals for the Cuban government (Houck 2000, 16). Despite the efforts of the government to in crease sustainability, economic hardship was pressing individuals to partake in unsustainable behaviors (the shortage of fuel for instance increased the use of wood as a fuel source), notably the use of wood as a source of fuel was further diminishing the still recovering forest resources (Daz Briquets 1996; Lambert 2008, 29). Specifically in the context of forest policy however, 1992 saw the implementation of the National Forestry Action Plan. The National Forestry Action Plan was set to increase forest protection and productivity The plan worked to increase forest cover and reestablish cle ared and degraded natural areas. S ustainability and ecosy stem protection was prioritized. Furthermore, management methods were applied to protect natural areas and benefit local peopl es. F inally capacity building for research and training was prioritized (FAO 2002) 13 Cuba was inadequately able to establish the National Forestry Action Plan due to a lack of funding and the unwillingness of international parties t o donate (Daz Briquets 1996, 434). internalized and implemented in the country and a new administrative body was Artculo 27. El Estado protege el medio ambiente y los recursos naturales del pas. Reconoce su estrecha vinculacin con el desarrollo econmico y social sostenible para hacer mas racional la vida humana y asegurar la supervivencia, el bienestar y la seguridad de las generaciones actuales y futuras. Corresponde a los rganos competentes aplicar esta poltica. Es deber de los ci udadanos contribuir a la proteccin del agua, la atmsfera, la conservacin del suelo, la flora, la fauna y todo el rico potencial de la naturaleza. 13 March 2002 ountry/57479/en/cub/

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104 ences of Rio, prompted a restructuring of the environmental administrative system (Whittle and Santos 2006, 78). Working to streamline the administration in order to increase functionality and effectiveness, the state council replaced COMARNA with the Mini stry of Science, Technology and Environment (CITMA). CITMA is a stronger and more authoritative institution that acts at the ministry level. The establishment of CITMA removed the conflict of interest paralyzing COMARNA and increased the effectiveness of e nvironmental regulations. With one agency in control of environmental action, the government was better able to actively engage in achieving its set goals. CITMA set the foundations for official regulations and environmental policies with the 1997 National Environmental Strategy. The strategy emphasizes the idea that sustainable development Santos 2006, 79). Additionally, it became a central regulatory goal to implement in Cuba the capacity for environmental agencies to use some of the regulatory and non regulatory tools commonly used in other countries including taxes and incentives as well as environmental impact assessments (79). It was clear that the old framework enviro nmental law of 1981, Law 33, was outdated. Law 81: Law of the Environment Law 81, established in 1997 was strongly supported by the National Assembly. It was not a favorite among other institutions however; this is because Law 81 increases the veto power of CITMA establishing it among the other ministries as an equal with the capacity to exert authority over its jurisdiction and enacts its veto power over projects from other ministries which may trample the environmental standards set by CITMA. It

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105 specifi cally delineates two objectives to increase public participation in the environmental decision making process (Whittle and Santos 2006, 80). The objective to increase the involvement of the public in environmental policy making is one of the principles of the Rio Declaration assuring the public a legal right to information and participation access in regards to the environment. One of the most important implementations of Law 81 is the establishment of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA). The purpose o f an EIA is to delineate clearly the potential impacts a proposed project can have on the environment prior to the requires that the environmental licensee take steps t o avoid, minimize, and mitigate Even though CITMA remains the main regulatory body for environmental policymaking to date it is not the only administrative body working towards increasing fores t cover and improving forest performance overall. The Ministry of Agriculture manages the reforestation projects on the country in addition the production of timber and other forest goods (Whittle and Santos 2006, 82). Additionally, the Ministry of Agricul ture also managed some nature reserves and protected areas however in 1999 the management was passed to CITMA (87). Overall, Law 81 is significant because it established not only forestry agenda topics but also enforcement mechanisms, monitoring and penalt ies (Houck 2000). Overall, it can be said that Law 81 of 1997 solidified the legal grounds and set a pragmatic policy frame for environmental policy in Cuba. Particularly, the Law of the Environment, Law 81, plays a central role in the forestry policy reg ime. The acceptance

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106 of the new policy frame demonstrated the strong support for environmental protection on behalf of the central government. Due to the fact that Law 81 was designed, accepted and implemented by the National Assembly of People's Power the law was set at the highest level of national legislation. Furthermore, the Law solidified the comprehensiveness of the environmental regime in Cuba. It is clearly delineated in the first article of Law 81, that the purpose of the new law was set "to esta blish the legal principals to govern environmental policy and the basic legal requirements to regulate the environmental management of the state and the actions of citizens and society as a whole, in order to protect the environment and contribute to the d evelopment of the national" (Cagno 2005, 201). In this framework law the role of state, societal and individual actors was delineated. The state for one is centrally responsible for increasing environmental education for its citizens. Article 3 encompass es the sense that the state, society and the individual maintain a responsibility to the commitment to environmental protection, supporting rational use and conservation above all else. One of the ways the state proposes to increase the capacity to achieve these goals is through the establishment of a solid base of environmental education for its citizens. Additionally the state also proposes the promotion of policies that are appropriate to the local conditions and local populations to which it its applied (Cagno 2005, 202 203). Even though the state does delegate some responsibility to local sectors and to individual citizens, the idea of centrality permeates the legal rhetoric of the document. Article 4 in particular f ocuses on the central planning aspect of environmental protection in Cuba. The ideas implemented and agreed upon at the national level are expected to be

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107 carried through to the regional and local levels as well. Obligations set at the national level are to be integrated into all sectors and agency bodies as set out in A rticle 4: Environmental management is integral, crosses all social sectors and requires the coordinated participation of state agencies and bodies, other entities and institutions, society an d citizens in general, within their respective capabilities and jurisdictions. (Cagno 2005, 204) Overall, the Law of the Environment, Law 81, internalized the terms of the Rio Summit's international agreement. Major Changes in Enforcement and the Design ation of Protected Area Planning Law 81 included, in particular, some enforcement innovations. For the first time, Cuba was using economic tools to enforce environmental policies. This includes the use of dedicated funds for conservation (FONADEF), tax p Furthermore, the new law of the environment gave CITMA the authority to designate and manage the National System of Protected Areas (SNAP). SNAP conservation goals were to be included in the central planning process. Concerning the System of Protected areas as a whole however CITMA plays the main regulatory and management role. Under Decree Law 201, SNAP is placed under the jurisdiction of CITMA. In 2003 with the help of the United Nations, CITMA launched its first five year plan for SNAP (Whittle and Santos 2006, 88). By 2005, SNAP protected 35 areas across the country (88).

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108 Ley Forestal (Forestry Act, Law 85), Regulations of the Forestry Act (Resolution No. 330 99), and Decree N. 268 of the Executive Committee of the Council of Ministers, Violations of the Forestry Regulations July 1998, the National Assembly approved a wide ranging le gal framework for forestry management. The forestry sector is managed through the Forestry Act (Law 85), Regulations of the Forestry Act (Resolution 330) implemented in 1999, and the Executive Decree on Violations of Forestry regulations. The Forestry Act outlines the larger scale management plans of the forestry sector. It delegates authority to the Ministry of Agriculture to approve forestry projects. Prior to attaining approval from the Ministry of Agriculture, projects must be preapproved by the Nationa l Forestry Directorate, which controls the state forestry services ( Urf et al. 2000, Appendix V ). Once projects are approved by the Ministry of Agriculture, the National Forestry Directorate is responsible for project management ( Urf et al. 2000, Appendi x V) The Forestry Act initiates a forestry fund (a novel idea in Cuba) and plans for forest preservation and expansion. The Forestry Act also set the national goal to achieve 27% forest cover by 2015 (FAO 2002). Other goals include increasing sustainability. Th e Forest Fund (FONADEF) is managed under the Minister of Finance as established in the Forestry Law ( Act 85). FONADEF provides for the payment of reforestation activities and incentives in addition to handling persons in forestry. The Forestry Act also h ighlighted the need for and implemented an increase in reforestation projects along rivers and water bodies to protect watersheds increasing forest cover (Urf et al. 2000, Appendix V) Reforestation projects in all areas, specifically, are managed and imp

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109 provincial and municipal levels and functioning under the authority of the National Commission for the Turquino Manat Plan Urf et al. 2000, Appendix V). Increase in Public Participation on an Ex perimental Basis As a component of the compliance process for the Rio Summit a dynamic of increasing public participation was included in the layout of Law 81. For the most part however, the actual definition of how policymaking will be more inclusive to the public social participation in the forestry sector, forestry farms have been created with diverse objectives that go from protection forests to agro hese projects entrust the ) Since 2006 guidelines for public participation, although not fully operational, were established in a few pilot projects throughout Cuba (Whittle and Santos 2006, 92). For the most part, public participation is involved in issues of waste and water; however the very action of public inclusion in the policy process is significant. Economic development: a high priority Overall, a central facet to the decision making process in Cuba is undoubtedly the role of development and economic growth. After all, it is easy to see that political stability and legitimacy maintains greater security with positive economic growth to sup port it, this is further upheld in developing countries. The fall of the Soviet Union and the elimination of Soviet aid left Cuba in a vulnerable position to sustain its economy and projections for development. As such, Cuba has had to adapt to new develop ment continuation of safety net social programs and command and control policy style allowed

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110 it to assume a strategy of adaptation concerning its economic and developme nt goals. Overall, revitalizing the Cuban tourism industry has played a large role in the resumption of hard currency flow back into the country (Cuba Review 2007, 10). With the end of Soviet financial support, the 1990s saw a reemergence of tourism as a means to achieve economic goals (Whittle and Santos 2006, 75, 77). Traditionally, economic growth and environmental protection are contrary goals however, with development at stake and little resources at hand, the Cuban government and its central planning strategies worked to implement greater sustainability and market environmentalism as a tourist attraction. EPI Performance Considering the discussed policy developments and policy practices in place in Cuba it is useful to discuss the measured environm ental performance of the country. 2012. Figure 6.1 and 6.2 plot the EPI results for Cuba c ompared to the top trend performers (globally) and the bottom trend performers (globally). positive trend for the island. Although it is not among the top performing countrie s on the global scale, it is improving on average (for ecosystem vitality) over time. More performance and its potential to continue improvements. Furthermore, Cuba has sho wn improvements in its level of forest cover and forest growing stock. Despite its successes in forest cover growth and increased forest growing

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111 forts for reforestation and plantation foresting have offset some of the losses. As noted in Table 6.1, the historical EPI ranks of Cuba have improved slightly in recent years (2008 2010), the beginning of the decade and the end of the decade saw some improvements in rank on average the decade trends kept Cuba ranked ranging from 48 to 58. Concerning forests, growing stock and forest cover has remained the same through 2000 2010 but has remained positive. Losses have also remained consistently ranked between 52 and 53, averaging out at 53. Eco system Vitality and Forest Performance) Source: EPI Country Profiles. The plot shows (from left to right) how well a country is doing overall compared to how much they are improving over time (bottom to top)

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112 2010 Country Year EPI_rank EV_rank EVFOREST_ra nk Grow Stock Loss Cover Cuba 2000 52 71 35 1 53 1 Cuba 2001 48 67 35 1 53 1 Cuba 2002 53 69 36 1 53 1 Cuba 2003 58 72 36 1 53 1 Cuba 2004 54 72 36 1 52 1 Cuba 2005 54 72 36 1 52 1 Cuba 2006 53 69 38 1 53 1 Cuba 2007 54 71 38 1 52 1 Cuba 2008 57 73 38 1 53 1 Cuba 2009 54 72 33 1 52 1 Cuba 2010 50 69 32 1 53 1 2010) for EPI Rank, Ecosystem Vitality (EV Rank), Ecosytem Rank for Forestry ( EVFOREST_rank ), Change in Growing stock (Grow Stock), Forest Loss (Loss) and Forest Cover change (Cover). lo wer than in previous years as noted by the negative pilot trend score ( 3.4). Cuba has also performed lower than its average trend for forest loss ( 10.2). Overall however, the country ranks 32 globally. A commendable score, considering that the country is autocratic and developing. Table 6.2 Cuba Performance Scores and Ranks Source: Yale EPI. ( development policies were particularly harmful to the natural environment and were not focused on sustainability prior to the early 1990s. As noted earlier, autocratic regi mes

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113 have historically had some of the worst environmental records to date and Cuba was no heavily burdened the environment at a time when there was little regulation. Howev er, it became apparent that environmental problems were inhibiting economic growth because of: soil erosion, deforestation, inland and coastal water pollution, increasing loss of shrank industry and reduced the economic impact on the environment. there have been positive efforts for the promotion of ecosystem vitality goals through increased e xecutive support and increased legislation, development goals have prevented a more solid implementation of the environmental policy goals. Furthermore, the alone. R egardless, there have been improvements overtime just as there have been limitations. Positive results Tying environmental performance to economic performance became a strong incentive for the country to increase its sustainability and its conservation e fforts. Through the national forestry act, implemented in 1999, the FAO reported the volume of forests split between plantation forests at 352.92 million hectares and natural forests with 1 980.72 million hectares (Urf et al. 2000, Appendix V). It was als o reported that 60% of new plantations focused their efforts on the protection of forests ( Urf et al. 2000, Appendix V) It is important to look into the definition of forest protection. A caveat is the fact that plantation forests can be composed of a variety of species planted for

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114 consumption use (coffee, cocoa, eucalyptus) although these forests can help protect watersheds, prevent of soil erosion, and protect flora and fauna, the Cuban ecosystem would be further strengthened by reforesting with more natural forest species and less plantation farms. Regardless, Cuba does wish to present itself as a sustainable country and has received increa sing amounts of tourism and eco tourism. An FA O report describes the tourist influx as consistently increasing: During 97 98, the country received approximately US$7 million while in 1999 they received US$11 million. For the year 2000, some 3 500 000 tourists are expected to visit the country and tou r the national parks and the natural reserves to practice ecotourism. Seven million tourists are expected by 2010. (Urf et al. 2000, Appendix V ) There is a clear source of energy behind the continuation of improved environmental performance processes. I n Cuba, pressure for environmental action initiates from the top down. The government bodies in Cuba actively give the necessary leadership for sustainable development strategies. where Cuban leader Fidel Castro decided to move the country toward improved economic growth and increased environmental conservation efforts ingraining them into national plans for development. mandate greater coord ination and communication among ministries and other 2006, 81). decision making of other ministries. Or the increased involvement of other ministries in environmentally focused areas such the Ministry of Agriculture managing the System of As of 1997,

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115 Cuba was the only cou ntry in Latin America to officiate environmental strategies into their national policy integrating it into all sectors of government (Lopez Arnat 1997). policies, some events forcing the island towards sustainability however others inspired and encouraged the regime to adopt environmental goals initiating them into national po licy. Limitations Forestry management remains weak b ecause it is answerable to the M inistry of Agriculture in Cuba; this can be problematic in that agricultural interests will likely be al environment has made it difficult for the country to attain international assistance and financial support. financial institutions (namely the Bretton Woods Institutions) i s not on exemplary terms. Thereby, the island has received little financial help in regards to development and environmental conservation. However, today the country is receiving some assistance from large international organizations such as the World Wild Life Fund (WWF). continue to be dependent on the whether it will be able to increase its capacities and resources. Ultimately this has been a challenge for the island because it rece ives little international funding. However, because Cuba is home to a number of species found only on the island, the interests of researchers and conservationists have brought greater visibility to Cuban ecology and have supported the importance of ecosys tem conservation on the island. On the other

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116 hand, the increased attention and increasing role of ecotourism for the Cuban economy also has detrimental impact on the environment; many tourist resorts are located and constructed in ecologically vulnerable locations. Increased public participation would benefit the sector in general increasing innovation capacities. Although for the most part, citizens groups and NGOs have limited autonomy, the work of groups such as Pro Naturaleza does achieve national at tention and they can be further strengthened by increasing their capacity and their ability to network however, like Pro Naturaleza, groups with the most voice are those closest to the government ( WWF CANADA 1997, 79). Pro Naturaleza for one as little aut onomy and is guided by CITMA. It formally recognizes the duties of both the state and its citizens to protect the environment. However, practically, environmental protection is w eak in that Cuban environmental laws are very general and as a result difficult to enforce. If there is a conflict between environmental and economic interest, the weaker environmental protection institutions tend to be out ruled by economic goals ( Diaz Br 2000, 78).

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117 Conclusion The analysis conducted here suggests that despite the major differences in political institutions both countries have produced progressive and sustainable forest resource policies. However, the policies have been different in implementation and style. Regardless of the fact that different paths in these two cases have led to similar results at first g lance there are some caveats to consider in each. Reevaluating Performance F igure 7.1 compares the Environmental Performance Index scores of Costa Rica and Cuba the two highest ran ked countries in Latin America concerning forest performance. Costa Ric a ranks 27 and Cuba ranks 32. The range in global ranks in Latin America is 27 131. Within the forest indicators there is, again, little variation in results. Figure 7.1 Compared EPI Costa Rica Cuba Source: Both countries experienced a slight increase in forest loss. Cuba is ranked below Costa Rica according to this indicator. Both countries also experienced little to no change in either forest cover or growing stock over the last year.

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118 Looking at the Environmental Performance Index ( EPI ) historical trend results, EPI performance over the last decade has been negative overall for both countries. The Trend EPI ranks (ranks over time) for both countries are 101 (Cuba) and 113 (Costa Rica) of 132 countries. This does not mean that overall these countries are bad performers only that their scores have shown little improvement overtime or may indicate some digression overtime. Figure 7.2 Cuba and Costa Rica Forest Indicators 2000 2010 CUBA COSTA RICA Source: Note that the above are proximity to target indicator scores from 0 to 100 over time. when its rank was 101 to 2010

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119 fairly consistent overtime ; however there has been improvement from 2008 2010 where the score moved from 38 to 32. Despite the improvements seen in the Yale EPI ranks for Cuba and Costa Rica, there is a caveat to consider that became evident through the research of this study. The EPI does not differentiate between types of reforestation. Increas ed reforestation efforts in Cuba did serve to increase total growing stock, as measured by the Yale EPI, however much was done through large plantation reforestation efforts. Plantation reforestation does increase forest cover, which can be beneficial to overall emissions reductions and carbon absorption. However, the reforestation efforts do not ensure biological conservation in every instance. Although some cases do include e fforts to replant secondary forest, more often than not, this research shows strong government support for replanting previously cleared areas with trees valuable for economic export and domestic consumption. For example, c offee, cocoa, and eucalyptus tree to be completely discounted al though they should be further scrutinized. Societal Influence Societal influence in the frame of this study considers public representation and accountability. Political leaders in a democratic country are expected to hold public opinion in high esteem A country with fewer civil liberties and political rights on the other hand can choose to ignore public prefer ence and is not highly influenced by society (if at all ). As evident in the Costa Rica case Costa Rican environmental institutions have been impacted n ot only by the democratic institutions supported by societal influence but

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120 also by a web of strong soc ial networking and personal interest s In conjunction with have a place in forestry policy. As noted in chapter four, the CCF, like other aforementioned organizations pl ays an essential role in policy formation because the policy process involves negotiation and consensus. Over time, d emocratic governance principles are further emphasized in Costa Rica environmental policy reforms Good governance principles are not the only factor; however it is clear that they have assisted in the evolution of effective environmental policies. Through the Payments for Ecosystem Services program and community centered monitoring national goals for sustainability are taken and applied at the local public inclu sivity in conservation efforts. Decentralization and the encouragement of increased public involvement in the forestry d ecision making process have increased. democratic governance principles on the effectiveness of forest management in Costa Rica. It includes the input of over forty organiz ations including a wide array of stakeholders from agricultural cooperatives, forestry associations, centers for environmental protection, cooperatives concerning ecotourism among others the ONF works to increase not only forestry productivity but also pro tection (ONF web). Taking general national goals of sustainability and forest conservation and applying them to situations run and monitored at the local level allows not only for more focused goals to be reached but also for specific problems in certain a reas to be tackled more effectively.

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121 Costa Rica is also home to an effective non governmental forest certification program allowing for un objective monitoring. Inclusion of third parties in the policy enforcement process adds legitimacy to the policies, increasing their overall effectiveness. Societal influence results in both views that encourage progressive policy and criticize it. Even though for the most part, pro environmental efforts in Costa Rica go uncontested, there are still instances of ille gal logging or opposition to government efforts to expand or establish protected areas or greater regulation. In the Osa peninsula in Costa Rica for instance, most societal resistance is expressed in public community forums where citizens discuss developme nt projects. Of special concern are those projects concerning eco tourism and the impacts on the local ecosystem ( Johnson 2012 web ). In these cases there are opposing views. In the past, c ertain target groups have been opposed to environmental efforts, fo r instance, small timber stakeholders or farmers. interests of a number of groups and have been able to achieve a level of consensus among differing views and goals. The Pa yments for Ecosystem Services program is one such effort which meets the economic interest s of both small and large farmers and further s the state interests of in creasing forest conservation. Generally, because land ownership has been better defined throughout the development of forest policies in Costa Rica, as shown in chapter four, clear property owners can be better compensated by the payments for ecosystem services program. As a result property owners benefiting from the program are likely to su pport conser vation efforts. S ocietal preferences can also serve to trump state preferences which are

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122 unsupportive of environmental efforts. The ALCOA protests discussed in chapter three are one such example. On the opposite side of the political spectrum, implements policies from the top down. The heavily centralized government has served to increase the diffusion of environmental ideas throughout policy sectors although it can nvironmental performance is struggling from a lack of capacity and resources. Societal marginalization further highlights these shortcomings. S uppressing the ability of groups in civil society to organize and participate in the policymaking process great ly cuts into a potentially innovative resource base. Even though it is written in the Cuban constitution that social organization is encouraged, in reality gatherings and organizations of any kind are regarded as suspicious. The unofficial criminality with which organizing is viewed has minimized the chances of even nonpolitical groups concerning environmental and forest issues to form. Groups which do exist act with very limited autonomy from the government and are mostly tied to the epistemic community. What is more paralyzing for environmental efforts is the fact that societal marginalization leaves the role of the state unbalanced introducing a massive conflict of interest. How can a state work to effectively conserve a resource it needs to exploit in order to grow its economy? Without the balancing effects of societal influence Cuba has been able to pick and choose it s reforestation efforts that are beneficial state and economic interests over ecological interests (as evidenced in their plantation sty le reforestation).

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123 Comparing both countries, Costa Rica, as is expected from its freedom rating ( F ree) does consider public opinion in decision making. There is both public support for progressive environmental policies as well as re sistance. On the whol e, in Costa Rica there is more support for progressive policies than resistance. government and the policymaking process are largely unaffected by societal influence due to the lack of civil liberties and political rights. However, the government does seem to support the existence of nonpolitical groups that consist mostly of environmental scientists with little autonomy. As a whole, Cuban society remains marginalized concerning environmental issues. Executive Influence A more democratic system is open to a wider array of societal influences. It is not uncommon for societal preferences to vary in a democratic society creating a paralysis. In a system with checks and balances, it is often difficult to move away from the status q uo in which case a greater degree of executive influence can cut through paralysis. Both Costa Rica and Cuba show some degr ee of the executive prerogative pushing forth policies and interests. This is particularly clear in the case of Cuba in which the Ca stro regime supports a number of environmental initiatives. Despite the concerns of Paehlke, e ven though executive influence has gone uncontested in Cuba, forest performance is reasonably good In fact, what protected areas do exist are of very high qual support Fidel Castro has given to national environmental efforts. Pragmatically economic hardship circumstances have also forced the country to downsize its impact on the environment. Taking adv antage of the situation, sustainability and forestry efforts

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124 were portrayed as and 6) and were u sed to bolster regime ideology. There is clear evidence that the power of autocratic in stitutions can translate into the ability to quickly and efficiently implement preferred environmental policies through the executive prerogative as shown in chapter five Evidence of executive led action is seen in chapter six with the rapid i mplementation of policies and executive pressure towards increased sustainability after the 1992 Rio Conference. Changes to the Cuban constitution and the infusion of the policy preferences throughout the various sectors of government and social life follo Summit. Costa Rican environmental policies have also seen some support from the executive; however, individual top down support has existed over shorter time horizons and can become sidelined by other priorities. President Ar ias did however show personal support for the environment during his presidency; nonetheless, implementing policies by executive prerogative remains challenging in Costa Rica. In Costa Rica, the executive has often worked toward particular environment goal s For example, Arias set a carbon scores to date. Past Although d emocratic governance principles i n Costa Rica encompassed in the evolution of the institutional reforms have had a positive impact on policy performance, every now and then it is important to have strong support from high ranking policymakers to assure policy progression despite the long time horizons of environmental issues and related policies. The best example of executive influence in

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125 Costa Rica is the establishment of the Forestry Law and the establishment of the national park system. Preferences from the Executive and Society S pecifically concerning the effectiveness of policies based on time horizons p referential focus is centered on executive preferences The literature presented in chapter one shows little consensus concerning time horizons and environmental performance. Li a nd Reuveny assume autocratic time horizons to be short, encouraging greater and more rapid consumption and worse environmental outcomes. Scruggs however discusses that ther e is little evidence to say less democratic regimes will implicitly have shorter tim e horizons. Democracies have also been criticized becaus e of their short time horizons, limiting the reach of policy objectives. Fundamentally state and societal preferences are very similar in Costa Rica; both parties wish to fulfill their security interests in varying degrees. The state wishes to increase economic growth and improves its international reputation. The democratic institutions i n Costa Rica do not always break balance d issues of interest betwee n state and societal preference (known as institutional para lysis). In contrast, in Cuba s tate preferences are determined from above and societal preferences are difficult to gauge because there are no institutionalized channels for autonomous citizen participation. Cuba like Costa Rica, does wish to further its economic d evelop ment and aims to do so through its growing tourism industry. Cuba also wishes to increase its role and visibility in the international arena. Overall, the country wishes to brand itself as a sustainable and

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126 It maintains this goal through conti nued innovations is this field, for 14 the installation of sustainability goals from above into various institutions and into Cuban social life ( such as i n the education plan). However, societal input has been largely absent from the policy making dialogue. Even though the public is very well informed about environmental issues through environmental education the lack of civil liberties inhibits grassroots action. Instead, t he public is pushed to partake in government established efforts in support of government preferences Despite the view that executives facing short time horizons prefer not to implement progressive policies, Costa R National System of Protected Areas was implemented and carried over three separate executive administrations. In the case of perspective, have b een beneficial to the development of environmental regulatory institutions. Overall, the view of preferences as a causal force remains inconclusive, and there is little evidence to clearly say that more democratic or less democratic regimes have been bette r for performance (in these cases, in regards to the impact of time horizons). The Priority of Economic Development Developing countries are interested in further development and economic growth. Support from abroad for the maintenance of naturally forested areas and for the 14 Article located at: from region/cuba to produce climate friendly ecological cement in apr il

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127 restoration of degraded lands is frequently coupled with international funds. Costa Rica and to a lesser extent Cuba are in no position to reject financial aid in any form co nsidering that they remain developing countries. Much of the pragmatic functioning of the protected areas and projects in place in both countries is attributable to international funding. Cuba however has received significantly less funding than Costa Rica although it wishes to increase its funding and awaits international approval for financial support. Both countries wish to uphold positive international perceptions and greatly value their international reputations for sustainability. International Ass istance Even though the impact of international assistance was not directly tested or systematically measured in the scope of this study, the weight given to it by preferences in both countries is apparent and should be considered for further study. Costa Rica has benefitted more from external funding and technical assistance from intern ational funding from international sources. Recently, Cuba has seen similar results from foreign interests in biological forest research and some increased interest in the eco tourism sector however Cuba has benefitted less than Costa Rica Overall, it is important to trace the processes of both countries and how these processes are measu red or determined. It is evidenced that both countries wish to increase their international reputations through their sustainability efforts. Both countries heavily value their international reputations and arguably, part of the effort to maintain nation al forests are for the benefit of international powers. Costa Rica and Cuba are both greatly influenced by international NGOs, the international epistemic community, international funding and income, and

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128 their ties to multilateral agreements. As developing countries, Costa Rica and Cuba contain programs vastly limited by their financial resources. A small set of resources for forest management further limits the effective capacity of existing programs and prevents new programs and possibly beneficial innova tions from starting up. Internationally, there are a number of organizations interested in the preservation of the unique and often endemic forested areas and the biological species living in these areas in both cases. As such, these international groups a re willing to donate resources towards the preservation of forested lands in Costa Rica and Cuba. Overtime, Costa Rica has been given a great deal of support from the international community for the preservation of forests. Today, Costa Rica chooses what funding to accept with greater care while keeping in mind what is best for Costa Rica and its people in comparison to system of forest preservation and management has been positive it is far from perfect. Its system of protected areas has resulted in strong patches of natural areas with high levels of biodiversity however the system remains limited by the isolation of the various protected areas creating isolated conservation islands. Cub a, on the other hand, is only now increasing its international funding and is internationally recognized for its sustainable habits in various sectors. Both countries have pledged grand goals for increasing forest cover. In fact, Costa Rica intends to become carbon neutral. Both countries also desire to expand their eco tourism industries and increase scientific interest in their respective biological treasures. Increasing a positive international perception, even if it conflicts with fundamental prin ciples, is a form of increasing funding and interest in their countries.

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129 Increased funding allows for greater capacity for forest projects and assists further economic development. Although future study is necessary, it is suggested that Costa t policy decentralization can be increasingly tied to global support for putting good governance principles into practice. Both countries assume improved public explore the role of external constituents in these cases. At this moment, both countries have strategized to incorporate the conservation of forests and the protection of biological areas into their economic development plans by counting on the economic assistance paired with international interest. Concluding Thoughts Regardless of all of the positive air surrounding sustainability in both Costa Rica and Cuba, in both cases economics continues to win over environmental protection, a case study analysis has been highly relevant in this sense because the nuanced drivers of state interests are not as apparent otherwise. Looking only at EPI results does not delineate the possibility that given an alternate and less costly way to attain economic development, it is po ssible that the cases shown here may have opted to pursue less sustainable paths. Forest management exists the way it does because it has been folded into a greater schema of economic development. Both countries uphold positive forestry habits, in general, because both highly value their international reputations, enjoy the economic benefits of external funding provided by interested donors, and desire to maintain the demand for tourism (an extremely important industry in both countries) particularly eco to urism growing. Additionally, the maintenance and increase of forest cover in both countries provides for the safeguarding of environmental public goods

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130 including water shed protection and less soil erosion. Returning to the three questions guiding the anal ysis: 1. Are democratic institutional processes helping or hindering forestry management in Costa Rica? If so, how? 2. Are autocratic political institutions helping or hindering forest management in Cuba? If so, how? 3. How does variation in political institution s affect the forestry management outcomes we observe ? Democratic institutional processes do help fo restry management in Costa Rica, however not in obvious ways. The democratic pr ocesses make Costa Rica a donor friendly country and help Costa Rica uphold its posture in the international arena (where it wishes to be viewed as a sustainable eco country). However, these democratic institutional processes also amplify the magnitude institutional paralysis which can i nhibit the progression of forestry policies. D espite having one of the highest rates of deforestation in Latin America by the 1960s, today the country is often touted as an exemplary case of national forest management and conservation. Overtime, progress is evident. To put the change in progress concerning increasing forest cover and minimizing deforestation can be attributable to progressive forest policies and good legislation. However, as this study has shown there are alternate factors impacting performance in Costa Rica, most notably international influence and economic influence. resource depletion to a country with a comme ndable and continually evolving and

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131 integrated system of conservation areas, together with good legislation and a system in which land owners are financially supported in their efforts to conserve forests as opposed to converting forested lands into agricu ltural lands. Costa Rica has innovatively taken advantage of a number of tools to better implement and enforce forest resource policies besides regulation such as financial incentives. A positive system of development highlighting sustainability and tying in ecotourism and conservation industries into the and encouraged greater conservation for protected areas and forested areas on private lands. Considering the secon command and control policy style have allowed it to implement policies as it sees fit. The strong executive prerogative has both helped and hindered forestry management. Looking past the surface, eve n though protected areas are existent and supported by the national government, certain policies and reforestation efforts are questionable. Government supported reforestation ensured full force efforts to increase forest is reflective of the idea that top down pressure has been effective (to an extent). The lack of public accountability in Cuba has been used to implement necessary forestry and environmental policies a allow for a stronger executive prerogative and minimize institutional paralysis. On the when it is benefi cial. Regardless, this is not to say that Cuban environmental efforts are entirely devoid of value.

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132 Due to the fact that reforestation efforts and conservation projects (state parks and protected areas etc.) are managed and protected by the state, the s tate is caught in a confl ict of interest. Due to the fact that the state owns most of the production sector it is situation impacts the manner in which it manages and re gulates its forest resources. Reforestation efforts for example despite a strong effort on behalf of the government to increase forest cover the manner in which it was implemented and continues to be implemented today is not entirely compatible with the e fforts seen in Costa Rica. On the whole, areas designated as protected areas maintain a high level of quality and rich biodiversity. It is increasingly in the interest of the Cuban state to maintain their natural resources as conservation areas especiall y as Cuba is reopening and reestablishing itself as an area of eco tourism. practices in the future as it is possible that we may see changes in practices with more opportunity for economic opening in Finally, the results are mixed overall. Even though this study sought to measure the role of democratic political institutions on forestry performance in Costa Rica and Cuba on the basis of a prima facie puzzle, other objectives (held in common in both cases) for increased economic development and improved international reputation were found to play an influential role. From an environmental perspective, in conjunction with tter overall.

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133 Study Limitations The research complied for this study is composed primarily of secondary sources. I n a perfect world first hand research would only enhance this study. Had a greater number of primary sources been accessible the empirical sections and the final conclusions of this analysis would have been richer and more precise. Besides limitations of time and source accessibility, this research is also limited in its design and would be gr eatly benefited by the addition of another more moderate case such as Ecuador. Furthermore, further precision could be attained taking into consideration that the EPI data provides a good general view but does not provide insights into types of reforesta tion efforts. As noted in chapter two the EPI measure although imperative to the conceptualization of spatial forest cover does not differentiate between the extent of primary forests and plantation forests. Additionally, the data used is reported by nati onal governments. If this data was analyzed in addition to data collected by a third party the data would be further legitimized. Future studies would benefit from taking these issues into consideration. Even though both countries have led different paths towards forest protection, it is undeniable that some of the same principles have underlined the efforts of both countries. Strong legislation and the political will to enforce policies have proven beneficial toward forest management to some extent. Above all else, even with the best and clearest policies in the world, neither Costa Rica nor Cuba could effectively implement their forest policies without access to human, financial and material resources. As long as these two countries can continue to apply resources towards their efforts then we can expect them to at least maintain their positions on the EPI.

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