The impact of armed conflict on the environment is of major public policy importance. We use a geographically disaggregated dataset of civil war violence together with satellite imagery of land cover to test whether war facilitated or prevented forest loss in Sierra Leone. The conflict data set allows us to establish where rebel groups were stationed and where battles and attacks occurred. The satellite data enables to us to monitor the change in forest cover (total, primary, and secondary) in all of Sierra Leone's 151 chiefdoms, between 1990 (prior to the war) and 2000 (just prior to its end). The results suggest that conflict in Sierra Leone acted as a brake on local deforestation: conflict-ridden areas experienced significantly less forest loss relative to their more conflict-free counterparts.
Robin Burgess, Edward Miguel, and Charlotte Stanton
African DevelopmentEnvironment and ClimatePolitical Economy and Conflict
Climate and ConflictOtherEnvironment and ClimatePolitical Economy and ConflictResearch Methodology2015
Civil WarPublished PaperPolitical Economy and Conflict2010
The Long-run Impact of Bombing VietnamPublished PaperOtherPolitical Economy and Conflict2011
War and Local Collective Action in Sierra LeonePublished PaperAfrican DevelopmentPolitical Economy and Conflict2009
War and Local Collective Action in Sierra Leone: A Comment on the Use of Coefficient Stability ApproachesPublished PaperAfrican DevelopmentPolitical Economy and ConflictResearch Methodology2015