Object & Deliverables
This project researched a potentially more efficient approach to choosing research topics based upon the idea that the value of research data comes from its’ potential to avoid or lessen negative impacts. The principles that are applied relate to timber supply. The project simulated differing patterns of available timber supply over time given the current and potentially reduced levels of uncertainty based on research data. A framework was developed to direct information collection according to where reducing uncertainty may have the greatest benefit. The results show that benefits are diminished by a positive interest rate and increase as the sustained yield constraints are relaxed. The key result is that significant benefits from reducing uncertainty exist in all scenarios except mature forests with values discounted by a 6% interest rate. However, because this is the scenario that most forest industries within Alberta operate, industry may not have incentive to invest in uncertainty reduction. There may be an argument to have more government responsibility for research and data collection.
The final report was in the format of a thesis entitled, “Using cost assessments of planning uncertainties to direct forest management information collection” by Gunnilla Nilsson, Department of Rural Economy, University of Alberta, Spring 2003.