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Communal Property Rights and Deforestation:

Evidence from Colombia


Mauricio Romero∗ Santiago Saavedra†

May 15, 2018‡

Abstract
Deforestation is a large contributor to climate change. Controlling deforestation is
difficult, especially because there are 484 million of hectares of forest that are com-
munity owned. In principle this arrangement could lead to a tragedy of the “com-
mons”, however there could be economies of scale on monitoring outsiders’ defor-
estation. We study the effect of communal titling on deforestation in Colombia,
using a difference-in-differences strategy at the border. We find that deforestation
decreased only in small communal titles, even when the control area are national
parks. This suggests that communal titling can be effective on reducing deforesta-
tion if inhabitants can monitor the area titled.

Keywords: Deforestation; Communal Titling


JEL Codes: P32, Q23

∗ University of California, San Diego.


† Universidad del Rosario
‡ Corresponding author: Santiago Saavedra (santiago.saavedrap@urosario.edu.co). The design and
analysis benefited from comments and suggestions from seminar participants at Stanford University and
Universidad del Rosario. All errors are our own.

Electronic copy available at: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3179052


1 Introduction

Deforestation emissions are a large contributor to climate change. For example, tropical
deforestation emissions are larger than those of the entire European Union (Seymour
& Busch, 2016). Around 484 million hectares of forest are community owned (Molnar,
Scherr, & Khare, 2004). However, little is knowm about the effect of communal property
rights on land use and deforestation. Communal property is subject to the tragedy of
the commons under standard economics assumptions. However, it may also induce
conservation under certain conditions (Ostrom, 1998). It is also possible that there
are economies of scale to monitoring the land from outsiders deforestation (Janvry &
Sadoulet, 2001). Hence, the effect of communal rights on land use is ultimately an em-
pirical one.

In this paper we study the effect of allocating communal rights on deforestation. We do


this by exploiting a natural experiment in Colombia, where in 1993 certain regions of the
country became eligible for communal land titling for Afro-Colombian communities. We
exploit the titling boundaries using a spatial regression discontinuity design combined
with difference-in-differences to identify the effect of communal titling. The first titles
were allocated in 1996, and by 2017 communal lands encompassed 5.3 million hectares
of land distributed across 163 titles (or communities).

We find that communal titling reduces deforestation only in small communities. When
analyzing the type of management control areas have, we find that small communal
titling reduces deforestation compared to National Parks, Indigenous Reserves, and un-
declared land. Naturally, the effect is stronger compared to the areas that do not have
a conservation declaration. Note also that compared to National Parks communal titles
reduce deforestation, probably because the community is protecting their land from out-

Electronic copy available at: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3179052


sider’s deforestation; while the National Parks are usually understaffed. The result are
robust to using deforestation data from another source. Our results are also robust to
varying by the choice of the optimal bandwidth or using different degree polynomials.

We contribute to two strands of the literature. First, regarding communal lands, other
papers have shown the benefits to individuals. (Peña, Vélez, Cárdenas, Perdomo, &
Matajira, 2017) show collective titling increases per capita income, housing investment,
school attendance. Our contribution is to study the environmental effects of communal
titling.

Second, in the literature on institutions and deforestation, we exploit within country


variation of institutional arrangements in different parts of the forest. Burgess, Costa,
and Olken (2016) show that Brazilian policies reduced deforestation in the Amazon,
compared to neighbor countries. Alix-Garcia, Rausch, L’Roe, Gibbs, and Munger (n.d.)
quantifies the avoided deforestation effects of environmental land registration in Brazil’s
Amazonian. The communal lands in Colombia provide a different setting, because their
main objective is not environmental conservation, but titling. Mejı́a and Mendieta (2016)
studied deforestation in all protected areas in Colombia, including communal lands. But
our paper differs in several aspects. First, they use pixels of resolution 1, 000m × 1, 000m
what cause their paper to miss the small communal titles, which represent half of the
sample. We use a finer resolution (90m × 90m), and can analyze heterogeneity by size of
the title. We also an identification strategy that combines regression discontinuity with
differences-in-differences, and calculate optimal bandwidth for each title. The authors
use a 5, 000m bandwidth, while the estimated optimal in this paper is 300m. Finally, we
separately analyze what types of management each control area has.
The remainder of the paper is organized as follows: Section 2 describes the titling
of communal lands in Colombia and the data available. The next section describes our

2
identification strategy. Section 4 presents the results, and the final section concludes.

2 Context and data

2.1 Background

2.1.1 Law 70 of 1993

Afro-Colombian communities have inhabited the west coast of Colombia since the nine-
teenth century. However, they did not have titles to their land until Law 70 of 1993
declared their right to communal land titles. In contrast to Mexican ejidos, there is no
private property within the communal title (Alix-Garcia, 2007). The first six titles were
allocated in December1996 in the Chocò department. By the beginning of 2017 there
were 168 titles, encompassing a total of 55,000 Km2 (see Figure 1a). The law also stipu-
lated that only certain regions of the country were eligible for collective titling under this
ruling. Specifically, collective titling is confined to the western most part of Colombia
(see Figure 1b). The law specified an imaginary line (thick black), that does not overlap
with other administrative boundaries, such that only vacant plots west of these lines
were eligible for collective titling.

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Figure 1: Communal titles under Law 70 of 1993
(a) Total area under community titles by year (b) Communal titles in 2016

50,000

40,000
Area (Km2)

30,000

20,000

10,000

2000 2005 2010 2015

Year

Note: Authors’ calculations based on the Sistema de información geográfica para la planeaci’on y el ordenamiento
territorial (SIGOT).

2.2 Data

We rely in two main data sources for our study. First, for forest coverage we use Hansen’s
deforestation data (Hansen et al., 2013). This data set provides yearly deforestation from
2001 to 2016 at the 30m × 30m pixel level. We aggregate to 90m × 90m pixels for ease of
computation. the We also use forest coverage information from the Institute of Hydrol-
ogy, Meteorology and Environmental Studies (IDEAM, for its acronym in Spanish) for
1990, 2000, 2005, 2010 as a robustness check.

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Figure 2: Forest in the communal titling elegible zone



● ●

0.95 ●











0.9


0.85

0.8

1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015

Year

Note: In black the proportion of land area within the communal titling eligible zone covered by forest according to
(Hansen et al., 2013). In red the land area within the communal titling eligible zone covered by forest according to
SIAC (http: / / capacitacion .siac .ideam .gov .co/ SIAC/ home/ Catalogo mapas .html ).

The area eligible for communal titling had over 96% of its area covered by forest in
20001 . By 2016 the area covered by forest had declined to just over 90% (See Figure 2).
Figure ?? shows how the forest coverage has evolve in the region eligible for communal
land titling and its surrounding areas.
Second, we use information on the location of communal lands. The data includes
the year in which the collective title is given as well as its boundaries. We associate
1A pixel is defined to be covered by forest if over 50% of its area is covered by forest. See (Hansen et
al., 2013) for more details.

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each pixel in our data to the closest communal title and calculate its distance to it. We
also have administrative information on the boundaries of national parks, indigenous
reserves, and forest reserves. These data identifies whether control areas have other type
of management or are not titled.

Table 1: Characteristics of communal titles

Mean Median Std. Dev. Min Max N


Year titled 2001.5 2001.5 2.52 1996 2008 156
Area (sq. km.) 337.7 145.6 832.4 0.20 7244.7 156
Opt. bandwith (m) 852.6 850.9 400.3 65.3 2516.8 143
An observation is a communal title.

3 Empirical strategy

To identify the effect of communal titling on an outcome of interest we use two variants
of the same identification strategy. Both are differences-in-discontinuities that compare
land just inside and outside the communal title (the discontinuity) before and after the
title is granted (the difference). Specifically, we estimate the following equation at the
pixel by year level:

Yict = β 0 + β 1 Inneri + β 2 A f terct × Inneri + f ( Distancei ) + γct + ε it , (1)

where Yict is whether pixel i, in the vicinity of communal title c was deforested in year
t. By vicinity we mean that the pixel is close to the boundary of c, regardless on whether
it is outside or inside the title. A f terct is equal to one if the communal title has been
granted by year t, Inneri is an indicator equal to one if pixel i is inside the communal
title. Distancei is the distance from pixel i to the boundary of c. Inside the communal

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title we set the distance as negative, and outside as positive. f is a flexible polynomial
that we allow to be different in each side of the border. . γct are a set of title-year fixed
effects. Finally, ε ict is the error term (which we cluster at the community-year level). β 2
measures the effect of collective land titling on the outcome of interest.
The main strategy focuses on the land surrounding borders of all communal titles,
which usually follow natural boundaries, such as rivers. Since much of the area sur-
rounding communal titles is covered by other communal titles or is compromised of
permanent bodies of water (oceans for the most part), we focus on the borders that are
not adjacent to the other communal titles or to the ocean. The second identification strat-
egy focuses on the surrounding area around the arbitrary line that Law 70 of 1993 set.
Since the boundary of the title along the line is exogenous, the only difference between
land inside and outside the title, is the title itself. While the underlying identification
assumption is stronger, there are only . Specifically, around the border of a communal
title (regardless of whether such border is along the arbitrary line), the only difference
between land inside and outside the title is the communal title itself, after such title has
been granted. In other words, the borders of the title are not endogenously determined.

Figure 3 provides a visual representation of both identification strategies using a sample


communal title. The first identification strategy (Figure 3a) focuses on the surrounding
area to all boundaries of a communal title. Specifically, it compares land just outside
the title (in green) to that just inside the title (in orange), before and after the title is
given out to the community. The second strategy (Figure 3b) focuses on the surrounding
area around the arbitrary line set by Law 70 of 1993. The identification strategy relies
on comparing pixels inside the communal title (in red and orange) that are close to the
arbitrary line (in orange), to pixels that are near line, but ineligible to become communal
lands (in green), before and after the title is given to the community.

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Figure 3: Visual representation of both differences-in-discontinuities identification strate-
gies
(b) Identification based on the surrounding area
(a) Identification based on the surrounding area
around the arbitrary line that Law 70 of 1993 set
to all boundaries of a communal title

Note: The land inside the communal title is depicted in red and orange in both cases. Land inside the title and near
the border is in orange. Land just outside the title is depicted in green. The line set by Law 70 of 1993, such that
only land to the west of the line is eligible for communal titling is depicted in blue. The communal title depicted is
the one created by Resolution 06440 of January 15th, 2015.

3.1 Data balance

In Table 2 we check whether the treatment and control pixels are similar in terms of the
following variables: distance to the nearest road; distance to the nearest river; elevation
and population. Even though the values look similar, given the large sample size they
are statistically different so we include these controls in the regressions.

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Table 2: Balance around the boundary of time invariant covariates

(1) (2) (3) (4)


Treatment Control Difference Discontinuity

Panel A: Half optimal bandwidth


Distance to nearest road (KM) 24.19 24.59 0.41∗∗∗ 0.08
(21.24) (21.30) (0.14) (0.07)
Distance to nearest river (mts) 3.91 1.34 -2.57∗∗∗ -0.40
(36.07) (23.61) (0.79) (0.73)
Elevation (mts) 317.67 296.70 -20.97∗∗∗ -7.21
(561.98) (545.51) (4.17) (4.47)
Population per pixel - 1990 306.22 304.20 -2.02 -1.54
(286.26) (281.12) (2.43) (1.79)
Panel B: Optimal bandwidth
Distance to nearest road (KM) 23.88 24.57 0.69∗∗∗ 0.13
(20.93) (21.26) (0.20) (0.12)
Distance to nearest river (mts) 5.42 0.97 -4.45∗∗∗ -0.77
(48.17) (19.94) (1.32) (1.20)
Elevation (mts) 335.01 301.83 -33.19∗∗∗ -11.17∗∗
(577.64) (546.29) (5.91) (5.30)
Population per pixel - 1990 305.63 298.94 -6.69∗∗ -2.63
(288.52) (278.35) (3.19) (2.41)
Panel C: Double optimal bandwidth
Distance to nearest road (KM) 23.40 24.58 1.18∗∗∗ 0.13
(20.52) (21.28) (0.32) (0.20)
Distance to nearest river (mts) 7.96 0.67 -7.28∗∗∗ -1.79
(71.48) (16.32) (2.14) (1.44)
Elevation (mts) 353.67 305.93 -47.74∗∗∗ -16.64∗∗
(592.96) (543.39) (8.40) (6.65)
Population per pixel - 1990 305.73 294.13 -11.60∗∗ -6.12∗
(293.35) (275.60) (4.91) (3.16)
This table presents the mean and standard error of the mean (in parentheses) for the control
(Column 1) and treatment (Column 2) groups, as well as the difference between treatment and
control (Column 3), and the discontinuity at the threshold allowing for a different linear fit
inside and outside the title. Standard errors are clustered at the communal title level. ∗ p < 0.10,
∗∗ p < 0.05, ∗∗∗ p < 0.01

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4 Results

In this section we explore how the communal land titling affected deforestation. In
short, communal titling reduces deforestation only in small communities. The results
are robust to different bandwidths, polynomial specifications and using other forest
data.

4.1 Deforestation

A visual depiction of the identification strategy is summarized in Figure 4. We can see


how deforestation (y-axis) evolves inside and outside (x-axis) of what will eventually
become a communal title, relative to when the titled was actually granted. In short, de-
forestation is roughly the same inside and outside, before the titled is actually granted
(see Figure 4a). After the titled is granted, then deforestation decreases inside the com-
munal title (see Figure 4b).

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Figure 4: Deforestation inside and outside communal lands, before and after titling
(a) One year before titling
.2 .15
Deforestation (mt2)
.1 .05
0

-1000 -500 0 500 1000


Distance to border (meters)

(b) One year after titling


.2 .15
Deforestation (mt2)
.1 .05
0

-1000 -500 0 500 1000


Distance to border (meters)

Note:

Table A.2 formalizes the intuition behind the previous figure. Specifically, it presents
the estimates from the difference-in-discontinuities (i.e., equation 1). In column (1) we
estimate the regression at the pixel level, while in column (2) is at the community level.
There is no evidence of an effect of titling on deforestation. In columns (3) and (4)
we separate between small and large communal lands, based on the median area. We
find that deforestation is smaller in the pixels of small communities by 0.49 percentage
points . On the other hand, we find that in large communities deforestation increases.
Given this heterogeneity in results we calculated the effect of titling for each community
separately. Out of 144 communities for which we could estimate the regression, 75 have
a negative coefficient (40 significative). Nowadays 25 have a positive and significant
coefficient.

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Table 3: Effect of communal titling on deforestation: Hansen yearly Data (2000-2016)

Dependent Variable: Deforested


(1) (2) (3) (4)
After X Inner 0.21 0.12
(0.13) (0.26)
Inner -0.64*** 0.92***
(0.13) (0.35)
After X Inner X Small -0.49*** 0.095
(0.16) (0.35)
After X Inner X Large 0.32* 0.014
(0.17) (0.16)
Inner X Small -0.58*** 0.88**
(0.12) (0.36)
Inner X Large -0.64*** 1.23***
(0.17) (0.36)
Unit Pixel Community Pixel Community
N. of obs. 14,992,878 14,635,334 14,992,878 14,635,334
Communities 156 155 156 155
Mean of Dep. Var. 4.98 7.37 4.98 7.37
R2 0.12 0.20 0.12 0.20
Controls include distance to the nearest road; distance to the nearest river; elevation and
population. Standard errors, clustered by community-year, are in parentheses. Optimal
bandwidth calculated for each community. Deforested=100. ∗ p < 0.10, ∗∗ p < 0.05, ∗∗∗
p < 0.01

We found that communal titling reduces deforestation in small areas, therefore is


interesting to understand what kind of management the control pixels have. We have
information on whether the control pixel is under one of three types of management: (1)
a National Park, with the stated objectives of preserving the natural landscape; (2) an
Indigenous Reserve, given to indigenous communities prior to the ones we study here
given to Afro-Colombian communities; (3) a Forest Reserve, which also has the objec-
tive of preserving the resource but allows exploitation under a management plan. We
present in 4 the result of estimating the regression with each type of control. Columns
(1)-(3) present the regressions with the mentioned types of management. Column (4) are
those pixels that do not have one of those management type, so they can be private land
or undeclared. Finally, column (5) are those pixels that do not have an associated use
at the time of the communal titling, but in the future will be declared as National Park,
Indigenous or Forest Reserve. We find that small communal titling reduces deforesta-
tion compared to every other type of management, except Forest Reserves. Naturally,
the effect is stronger compared to the areas that do not have a conservation declara-

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tion (column 4). Note also that compared to National Parks, communal titles reduce
deforestation, probably because the community is protecting their land from outsider’s
deforestation; while the National Parks are usually understaffed.

Table 4: Effect of communal titling on deforestation by control type

Dependent Variable: Deforested


(1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
After X Inner X Small -0.64*** -0.59** 0.13 -2.26*** -1.81***
(0.24) (0.23) (0.40) (0.36) (0.69)
After X Inner X Large -0.052 0.019 1.36** 0.070 0.67
(0.46) (0.12) (0.58) (0.49) (0.50)
Inner X Small -0.090 -0.50*** -2.16*** 0.59* 0.88***
(0.19) (0.19) (0.38) (0.35) (0.32)
Inner X Large -0.18 -0.094 -3.04*** -1.49*** -2.18***
(0.45) (0.12) (0.53) (0.45) (0.55)
Control Type Nat Park Indig Forest Res No NP,Ind or FR Undeclared
N. of obs. 2,894,930 12,110,817 1,810,500 2,062,695 1,021,462
Mean of Dep. Var. 5.17 3.72 9.52 11.7 3.87
R2 0.10 0.10 0.18 0.13 0.065
Standard errors, clustered by community-year, are in parentheses. Optimal bandwidth calculated for each
community. Deforested=100.
∗ p < 0.10, ∗∗ p < 0.05, ∗∗∗ p < 0.01

Our results are robust to a series of specification choices. First, we use deforestation
data from IDEAM. Recall that IDEAM’s data is available since 1990 and use a different
threshold for declaring a forest. With this data we confirm that small communal lands
reduce deforestation (Column (3)). The coefficient is almost five times our main coef-
ficient because the periodicity of the data is every five years in the period after titling.
However for large communal lands we find also a reduction in deforestation, although
the effect is not statistically significative. Second, the results do not qualitatively vary by
the choice of the optimal bandwidth (see Table A.1). Since we are using a difference-in-
discontinuities design, we follow the standard practice of choosing the bandwidth near

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the discontinuity following (?, ?). However, using a bandwidth that is twice as large or
half as large yields similar results. Finally, the results are basically unaffected by using
linear instead of quadratic polynomials (Columns (4)-(6) of Table A.1).

5 Conclusions

Deforestation emissions are a large contributor to climate change. Around 484 million
hectares of forest are community owned (Molnar et al., 2004). Communal property is
subject to the tragedy of the commons under standard economics assumptions. How-
ever, it may also induce conservation under certain conditions (Ostrom, 1998). It is also
possible that there are economies of scale to monitoring the land from outsiders defor-
estation (Janvry & Sadoulet, 2001). Hence, the effect of communal rights on land use is
ultimately an empirical one.

In this paper we study the effect of allocating communal rights on deforestation, and find
that communal titling reduces deforestation only in small communities. When analyzing
the type of management control areas have, we find that small communal titling reduces
deforestation compared to National Parks, Indigenous Reserves, and undeclared land.
Naturally, the effect is stronger compared to the areas that do not have a conservation
declaration. Compared to National Parks communal titles might reduce deforestation
because the community is protecting their land from outsider’s deforestation; while the
National Parks are usually understaffed.

These results suggest that tragedy of the commons does not seem to be driving defor-
estation in communal lands, and that titling can be an effective tool to protect forests.

14
References

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Environmental Economics and Management, 53(2), 141–157.
Alix-Garcia, J., Rausch, L. L., L’Roe, J., Gibbs, H. K., & Munger, J. (n.d.). Avoided
deforestation linked to environmental registration of properties in the brazilian
amazon. Conservation Letters.
Burgess, R., Costa, F., & Olken, B. A. (2016). The power of the state: National borders
and the deforestation of the amazon. Unpublished paper, London School of Economics.
Hansen, M. C., Potapov, P. V., Moore, R., Hancher, M., Turubanova, S. A., Tyukavina,
A., . . . Townshend, J. R. G. (2013). High-resolution global maps of 21st-century
forest cover change. Science, 342(6160), 850–853. Retrieved from http://science
.sciencemag.org/content/342/6160/850 doi: 10.1126/science.1244693
Janvry, A. D., & Sadoulet, E. (2001). Access to land and land policy reforms. Policy brief no.
3, UNU/WIDER.
Mejı́a, L. B., & Mendieta, I. H. (2016, October). ¿Parques de papel? Áreas protegidas y
deforestación en Colombia (Documentos de trabajo sobre Economı́a Regional y Ur-
bana No. 248). Banco de la Republica de Colombia. Retrieved from https://
ideas.repec.org/p/bdr/region/248.html
Molnar, A., Scherr, S. J., & Khare, A. (2004). Who conserves the world’s forests? a new
assessment of conservation and investment trend. Forest Trends.
Ostrom, E. (1998). A behavioral approach to the rational choice theory of collective
action: Presidential address, american political science association, 1997. American
Political Science Review, 92(1), 1-22. doi: 10.2307/2585925
Peña, X., Vélez, M. A., Cárdenas, J. C., Perdomo, N., & Matajira, C. (2017). Collec-
tive property leads to household investments: Lessons from land titling in afro-

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colombian communities. World Development, 97, 27–48.
Seymour, F., & Busch, J. (2016). Why forests? why now? (Tech. Rep.). Center
for Global Development-CGD. Retrieved from https://www.cgdev.org/sites/
default/files/Seymour-Busch-why-forests-why-now-full-book.PDF

A Additional tables and figures

Table A.1: Robustness effect of communal titling on deforestation

Dependent Variable: Deforested


(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
After X Inner X Small -0.42** -0.49*** -0.56*** -0.42** -0.48*** -0.55***
(0.20) (0.16) (0.21) (0.20) (0.16) (0.21)
After X Inner X Large 0.41** 0.32* 0.45** 0.41** 0.32* 0.45**
(0.18) (0.17) (0.21) (0.18) (0.17) (0.21)
Inner X Small -0.96*** -0.58*** -0.47*** -1.04*** -0.78*** -0.72***
(0.16) (0.12) (0.16) (0.16) (0.12) (0.15)
Inner X Large -0.77*** -0.64*** -0.82*** -0.85*** -0.84*** -1.06***
(0.18) (0.17) (0.20) (0.18) (0.17) (0.20)
Bandwith 0.5h∗ h∗ 2h∗ 0.5h∗ h∗ 2h∗
Polynomial Quadratic Quadratic Quadratic Linear Linear Linear
N. of obs. 7,657,157 14,992,878 27,374,318 7,657,157 14,992,878 27,374,318
Mean of Dep. Var. 5.08 4.98 4.95 5.08 4.98 4.95
R2 0.11 0.12 0.13 0.11 0.12 0.13
Standard errors, clustered by community-year, are in parentheses. Optimal bandwidth calculated for each com-
munity. Deforested=100.
∗ p < 0.10, ∗∗ p < 0.05, ∗∗∗ p < 0.01

A.1 IDEAM data

The Sistema de Informacion Ambiental de Colombia (SIAC, in its Spanish acronym)


quantifies the natural forest area and the deforestation that occurred nationwide. From

16
the semiautomated digital processing of remote sensor images of medium spatial resolu-
tion of 1ha (31.6m per pixel, approximately). Currently, maps are available for the years
1990, 2000, 2005, 2010, 2012 and 2013. The SIAC defined as forest coverage the land occu-
pied mainly by trees that may contain shrubs, palms, grasses and vines, in which the tree
canopy predominates with a minimum canopy density of 30%, and a minimum height
of the canopy (in situ) of 5 m at the time of its identification. As reference information,
they use the images from the LANDSAT satellite program (TM5, ETM +), integrating
the images available in the catalog into temporary compounds for the reference year.

On the other hand, The Hansen et al. (2013) Global Forest Change dataset in Earth
Engine represents forest change, globally, between 2000 and 2016. For this study, trees
were defined as all vegetation higher than 5 m in height and forest loss was defined as
a disturbance of replacement of stands. These data were elaborated by means of remote
sensing techniques using LANDSAT images with a resolution of 30 m per pixel. The
data available by GFC and used in this analysis include loss and gain of forest cover, de-
rived by means algorithms that detect the removal (or recovery of plant biomass) using
the 50% threshold at the pixel level to classify a pixel as “deforested” or “recovered.”
Additionally, it includes the data on the percentage of tree coverage per pixel for the
year 2000 and data on the loss of forest cover for each year between 2001 and 2016.

This means that although both sources of information define trees as the highest vegeta-
tion at 5 m , Hansen’s methodology is more rigorous since it declares a pixel as a forest
when it has a density¿ 50%. While SIAC uses only a minimum threshold of 30%. This
would indicate that Hansen’s forest data is a subset of SIAC.

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Variable Hansen et al. SIAC
Pixel resolution 30m 31.6m
Minimum canopy height 5m 5m
Tree density 50% 30%

Table A.2: Effect of communal titling on deforestation IDEAM data (1990, 2000, 2005,
2010)

Dependent Variable: Deforested


(1) (2) (3) (4)
After X Inner -0.66 -0.86
(0.89) (1.00)
Inner -2.75*** -2.56**
(0.61) (1.02)
After X Inner X Small -1.77* -1.08
(0.99) (1.32)
After X Inner X Large -0.42 -0.44
(1.06) (1.47)
Inner X Small -2.05*** -2.50**
(0.64) (1.12)
Inner X Large -2.94*** -2.72**
(0.76) (1.32)
Unit Pixel Community Pixel Community
N. of obs. 3,181,856 3,101,726 3,181,856 3,101,726
Communities 156 155 156 155
Mean of Dep. Var. 13.8 18.0 13.8 18.0
R2 0.23 0.25 0.23 0.25
Standard errors, clustered by community-year, are in parentheses. Optimal bandwidth
calculated for each community. Deforested=100.
∗ p < 0.10, ∗∗ p < 0.05, ∗∗∗ p < 0.01

18