Research Webinar 24: Causes of forest fires and RSPO certification effect on deforestation and fires in Indonesia.

In this webinar Russel Toth will first present a paper on causes of forest fires in Indonesia. The paper utilizes data on fires, rainfall, forests, and agricultural conditions and prices over 2000-2016 to provide causal evidence on two prospective channels and provide insights toward efforts to predict and prevent the fires. This first presentation will set the scene around whether certification is a viable intervention to help prevent the fires. The second presentation will be led by Kim Carlson who will present a research piece that explores RSPO certification effect on deforestation and fires. Many corporations have pledged to eliminate tropical deforestation from their supply chains by purchasing only certified “sustainable” products. To evaluate whether certification fulfils such pledges, the article applies statistical analyses to satellite-based estimates of tree cover loss to infer the causal impact of Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification on deforestation and fire within Indonesian oil palm plantations.