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Conservation

2017-10-16

Essays on forest conservation policies, weather and school attendance

The first chapter of my dissertation Heterogeneous Local Spillovers from Protected Areas in Costa Rica (with Juan Robalino & Alexander Pfaff) offers a contribution to the literature estimating the impact of protected areas (PAs) on preventing tropical deforestation. It extends previous work by looking at how the establishment of national parks affects land use change in the neighboring private land. This is a relevant question as most analyses to date examine the realized deforestation impacts of PAs only within their borders, generally finding reduced deforestation effects.

2017-10-16

The long-run relationship between CO2 emissions and economic activity in a small open economy: Uruguay 1882 - 2010

The long-run relationship between carbon dioxide emissions from energy use and economic activity level is estimated for Uruguay between 1882 and 2010. We apply cointegration techniques and estimate a Vector Error Correction Model (VECM) for testing whether these variables are endogenous over the long-rung while also considering the short-run dynamics. The economic productive structure, the degree of openness, and the share of clean sources on total energy supply are also considered as explanatory variables.

2017-10-16

Heterogeneous Local Spillovers from Protected Areas in Costa Rica

Spillovers can significantly reduce or enhance the net effects of land-use policies, yet there exists little rigorous evidence concerning their magnitudes. We examine how Costa Rica’s national parks affect deforestation in nearby areas. We find that average deforestation spillovers are not significant in 0–5 km and 5–10 km rings around the parks. However, this average blends multiple effects that are significant and that vary in magnitude across the landscape, yielding varied net impacts.

2017-10-16

Spillovers from Conservation Programs

Conservation programs have increased significantly, as has the evaluation of their impacts. However, the evaluation of their potential impacts beyond program borders has been scarce. Such spillovers can significantly reduce or increase net impacts. In this review, we discuss how conservation programs might affect outcomes beyond their borders and present some evidence of when they have or have not. We focus on five major channels by which spillovers can arise: (1) input reallocation; (2) market prices; (3) learning; (4) nonpecuniary motivations; and (5) ecological-physical links.

2017-07-03

A bioeconomic analysis of community wildlife conservation in Zimbabwe

This paper uses a bio-economic model to analyze wildlife conservation in two habitats adjacent to a national park by two types of communities in Zimbabwe. One community is made up of peasant farmers operating under a benefit-sharing scheme such as CAMPFIRE, while the other is made up of commercial farmers practicing game farming in a conservancy. Both communities exploit wildlife by selling hunting licenses to foreign hunters but with different levels of success. The park agency plays a central role by authorizing the harvest quota for each community.

2017-01-13

Bridging the Policy and Investment Gap for Payment for Ecosystem Services: Learning from the Costa Rican Experience and Roads Ahead

This report provides findings based on the Costa Rican experiences that are beneficial for countries around the world implementing Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes. In this report, it is noted that from 2000 to 2010, over 5 million hectares of forest were lost per year globally, with the agricultural sector contributing to an estimated 80% of this loss. As forests are lost, the knock-on economic, environmental, and social benefits of ecosystem services provided by forests are lost as well (e.g.

2016-10-24

Local communities’ valuation of environmental amenities around the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in Southern Africa

This paper seeks to examine how communities value a variety of dryland environmental amenities provided by the Kgalagadi Transfontier Park where there is an interest in limiting their access, both in order to protect the environment and in order to make it more attractive for tourists. This is done using a choice experiment, which targeted households in the Kgalagadi area.

2016-09-29

    Effects of wildlife resources on community welfare in Southern Africa

    This paper demonstrates the importance of wildlife in the portfolio of environmental income in the livelihoods of poor rural communities living adjacent to a national park. The results show that wealthier households use more wildlife resources in total than do relatively poor households. However, poorer households derive greater proportional benefit than wealthier households from the use of wildlife resources. Excluding wildlife understates the relative contribution of environmental resources while at the same time overstating the relative contribution

    2016-09-09

    The determination of park fees in support of benefit sharing in Southern Africa

    Sharing conservation revenue with communities surrounding parks could demonstrate the link between ecotourism and local communities’ economic development, promote a positive view of land restitution involving parks, help address skewed distribution of income in the vicinity of parks and act as an incentive for local communities to participate in conservation even more. This article estimates the visitation demand function for Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (KTP) in order to

    2016-08-16

    Local Community Characteristics and Cooperation for Shared Green Reputation

    This article examines how basic socioeconomic and political factors are associated with higher levels of cooperation to garner a local community's shared green reputation. We analyze panel data on participation efforts in a collective voluntary environmental program, the Ecological Blue Flag Program, by the entire population of beach communities in Costa Rica between 2001 and 2009.

    2016-07-01

    Coupling socio-economic factors and eco-hydrological processes using a cascade-modeling approach

    Most hydrological studies do not account for the socio-economic influences on eco-hydrological processes. However, socio-economic developments often change the water balance substantially and are highly relevant in understanding changes in hydrological responses. In this study a multi-disciplinary approach was used to study the cascading impacts of socio-economic drivers of land use and land cover (LULC) changes on the eco-hydrological regime of the Lake Naivasha Basin. The basin has recently experienced substantial LULC changes exacerbated by socio-economic drivers.

    2016-07-01

    The Effects of Groundwater and Surface Water Use on Total Water Availability and Implications for Water Management: The Case of Lake Naivasha, Kenya

    This study discusses the effects of water abstractions from two alternative sources on the available water volume around Lake Naivasha, Kenya: the lake itself and a connected aquifer. An estimation of the water abstraction pattern for the period 1999–2010 is made and its effect on the available water volume in Lake Naivasha and its connected aquifer is evaluated using a simple water balance modeling approach.

    2016-07-01

    Accounting for spatial non-stationarity to estimate population distribution using land use/cover. Case Study: the Lake Naivasha basin, Kenya

    Remotely-sensed data can be used to overcome deficiencies in data availability in poorly monitored regions. Reliable estimates of human population densities at different spatial levels are often lacking in developing countries. This study explores the applicability of a geographically-weighted regression (GWR) model for estimating population densities in rural Africa using land use/cover data that have been derived from remote-sensing while accounting for spatial non-stationarity.

    2016-06-07

    Public disclosure for carbon abatement: African decision-makers in a PROPER public good experiment

    A linear public good experiment adopted from Holt and Laury [1997. Classroom games: Voluntary provision of a public good. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 11(4), 209–215.] has been employed to investigate strategic behaviour in pollution abatement among African climate decision-makers. The experiment consisted of three groups, of which groups 2 and 3 received one and two treatments, respectively.

    2016-01-12

    Whereto with institutions and governance challenges in African wildlife conservation?

    African wildlife conservation has been transformed, shifting from a traditional, state-managed government approach to a broader governance approach with a wide range of actors designing and implementing wildlife policy. The most widely popularized approach has been that of community managed nature conservancies. The knowledge of how institutions function in relation to humans and their use of the environment is critical to the design and implementation of effective conservation.

    2015-12-15

    Economic Value of the Cape’s Beautiful Coast: A Study of the ‘Amenity’ Value of the Kogelberg, in South Africa

    The Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve is a 100 km long coastal stretch of towering mountains and craggy beaches about an hour’s drive east of Cape Town. The dramatic landscape, rare botanical diversity and ocean ‘playground’ are big drawcards for tourists, and contribute to property values. A recent study of the ‘amenity’ value of this stretch of coastline shows that many local visitors regard it as more desirable to visit than other stretches of South African coastline, and many are return visitors. Homeowners are willing to pay a premium for properties with sea views or access.

    2015-12-08

    Unintended Effects of Targeting an Environmental Rebate

    When designing schemes such as conditional cash transfers or payments for ecosystem services, the choice of whom to select and whom to exclude is critical. We incentivize and measure actual contributions to an environmental public good to ascertain whether being excluded from a rebate can affect contributions and, if so, whether the rationale for exclusion influences such effects. Treatments, i.e., three rules that determine who is selected and excluded, are randomly assigned.

    2015-11-16

    A Bioeconomic Analysis of Community Wildlife Conservation in Zimbabwe

    This paper uses a bioeconomic model to analyse wildlife conservation in two habitats adjacent to a national park by two types of communities in the context of Southern Africa. One community is made up of peasant farmers operating under a benefit-sharing scheme (CAMPFIRE) while the other is made up of commercial farmers practising game farming in a conservancy (the Save Valley Conservancy). Both communities exploit wildlife by selling hunting licenses to foreign hunters but with different levels of success.

    2015-11-04

    Wildlife: An Income Stream for Rural Zimbabweans

    When poor rural families in Zimbabwe are able to collect bushmeat, it may allow them to increase their household income through selling the meat within their communities. This means that, if policies help support communities’ access to wildlife, they can address poverty and decrease income inequality in these areas.

    2015-10-29

    Essays on behavioral economics and policy design

    This thesis consists of three self-contained chapters on issues related to spillover effects of behavioral and policy interventions aimed at reducing negative incentives provided by consumption and production subsidies, and discusses the implications for environmental policy design. The first two chapters investigate spillover effects of a behavioral intervention aimed at incentivizing residential water savings in Colombia.

    2015-10-26

    Protected area types, strategies and impacts in Brazil's Amazon: public protected area strategies do not yield a consistent ranking of protected area types by impact

    The leading policy to conserve forest is protected areas (PAs). Yet, PAs are not a single tool: land users and uses vary by PA type; and public PA strategies vary in the extent of each type and in the determinants of impact for each type, i.e. siting and internal deforestation. Further, across regions and time, strategies respond to pressures (deforestation and political). We estimate deforestation impacts of PA types for a critical frontier, the Brazilian Amazon.

    2015-10-15

    Community forests, carbon sequestration and REDD+: evidence from Ethiopia

    REDD + is one of the tools under development to mitigate climate change, but it is not yet clear how to appropriately bring in the approximately 25 per cent of developing country forests that are managed by communities. Drawing on the economics of collective action literature, the authors attempt to shed light on whether forest collective action itself sequesters carbon.

    2015-10-08

      “Does Tourism Eco-Certification Pay? Costa Rica’s Blue Flag Program

      According to advocates, eco-certification can stem environmental damages from tourism in developing countries. Yet we know little about tourism operators’ economic incentives to get certified. To help fill that gap, we use detailed panel data to analyze the Blue Flag beach certification program in Costa Rica where nature-based tourism has caused significant environmental damage. We use new hotel investment to proxy for private benefits, and fixed effects and propensity score matching to control for self-selection bias.

      2015-08-20

      Effects of Wildlife Resources on Community Welfare: Income, Poverty and Inequality

      This paper demonstrates the importance of wildlife in the portfolio of environmental income in the livelihoods of poor rural communities living adjacent to a national park. The results show that wealthier households consume more wildlife products in total than do relatively poor households. However, poorer households derive greater proportional benefit than wealthier households from the consumption of wildlife resources. Excluding wildlife understates the relative contribution of environmental resources while at the same time overstating the relative contribution of farm and wage income.

      2015-06-30

      The Effect of Land Restitution on Poverty Reduction among the Khomani San “Bushmen” in South Africa

      This paper looks at the impact of land restitution involving the Khomani San “bushmen” in the Kgalagadi area of South Africa. It seeks to investigate the effect of land restitution on poverty reduction among the beneficiaries. We run two-stage least squares models of access to nature, per capita income and poverty status on the use of restituted land, among other variables. Our results suggest that the Khomani San beneficiaries have gotten more access to natural resources but that

      2015-05-04

      Assessment of the Potential Biomass Supply from Crop Residues in China

      Using a mathematical programming model, we estimated the potential biomass supply from crop residues in China at various exogenously-given biomass prices and identified the areas that are likely to produce crop residues. Our analysis indicated that China can potentially produce about 153.0–244.2 million dry metric tons of crop residues per year when biomass prices are larger than $90 per metric ton. Rice straw is expected to account for about 47% of total residue production across the different biomass prices and residue production scenarios that we considered.

      2015-03-25

      Paper Park Performance: Mexico’s Natural Protected Areas in the 1990s

      Although developing countries have established scores of new protected areas over the past three decades, they often amount to little more than “paper parks” that are chronically short of the financial, human, and technical resources needed for effective management. It is not clear whether and how severely under-resourced parks affect deforestation. In principle, they could either stem it by, for example, creating an expectation of future enforcement, or they could spur it by, for example, creating open access regimes.

      2015-02-14

      Strict versus Mixed Use Protected Areas: Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve

      Although protected areas, or “parks”, are among the leading policy tools used to stem tropical deforestation, rigorous evaluations of their effectiveness—that is, evaluations that control for their tendency to be sited in remote areas with relatively little deforestation—have only recently begun to appear. Important open questions concern the link between the stringency of protection and park effectiveness. How do mixed-use parks that allow sustainable extractive activities perform relative to strictly protected parks? And what types of mixed-use management perform best?

      2015-02-11

      Partnerships between private sector ecotourism operators and local communities in the Okavango Delta, Botswana: A case study of the Okavango Community Trust and Wilderness Safaris partnership

      The majority of Africa is characterised by high levels of poverty, high population densities and limited economic development. Botswana is, however, different in having the highest gross domestic product per capita in Africa, relatively low population densities and high levels of socio-economic development. Inequality, however, remains high. A community-based natural resource management programme was introduced in 1989 to ensure that local communities benefit from the country's abundant natural resources, with the hope that they will then protect them.

      2014-12-10

      Targeted Scenario Analysis, A New Approach to Capturing and Presenting Ecosystem Service Values for Decision Makers

      This guidebook provides a step-by-step introduction to Targeted Scenario Analysis (TSA), an innovative analytical approach, developed by UNDP that captures and presents the value of ecosystem services within decision making, to help make the business case for sustainable policy and investment choices.Through TSA, practitioners working with governments and private enterprises can generate and present data related to the management of ecosystems in a way that is more relevant to the choices facing a decision maker.

      2014-10-08

      Payments for environmental services do not have negative social effects on poverty in Costa Rica

      Programs of payments for ecosystem services are policy instruments that compensate those who provide those services for the costs they incur. One of the most attractive characteristics of this type of programs is that they can increase the generation of ecosystem services while simultaneously reducing the negative economic and social costs that local people might face from land use restrictions.       

      2014-10-06

      Economic and Environmental interactions between salmon aquaculture and artisanal fisheries: “An Application of Reloncavi estaury”

      A bio-socio-economic model was developed to analyze the economic and environmental interactions between the aquaculture activity and artisanal fisheries related to the seed settlement of Mytilus Chilensis that is realized in the Reloncaví Fjord. Meaning by economic interactions the effects of the action of both productivities activities has on the employment and production variables of this sectors. And for environmental interactions the effect that has the aquaculture activity on the seed settlement activity, in terms of the uneaten food pellets (nutrients).

      2014-09-30

      Estimación conjunta de la disposición a pagar y de la tasa de descuento inter-temporal para la protección de la biodiversidad en la reserva marina de Choros-Damas

      In this paper we used a net present value model to jointly estimate the willingness to pay (WTP), and the intertemporal discount rate, for a biodiversity environmental conservation program whose payments are allocated along a time horizon. We applied a contingent valuation survey to capture the economic value associated with the protection of a marine ecosystem in the marine reserve, Choros-Damas in Chile. Respondents faced a scenario with a WTP question with periods of 1, 5, and 10 years.

      2014-07-01

      Does Tourism Eco-Certification Pay? Costa Rica’s Blue Flag Program

      According to advocates, eco-certification can stem environmental damages from tourism in developing countries. Yet we know little about tourism operators’ economic incentives to get certified. To help fill that gap, we use detailed panel data to analyze the Blue Flag beach certification program in Costa Rica where nature-based tourism has caused significant environmental damage. We use new hotel investment to proxy for private benefits, and fixed effects and propensity score matching to control for self-selection bias.

      2014-06-30

      It took thousands of turtles

      Crafting a set of rules and incentives for the local community in Ostional National Wildlife Refuge (ONWR), one of the few places in the world where sea turtles come ot nest in massive number.

      2014-06-19

      Protected areas and economic welfare: an impact evaluation of national parks on local workers’ wages in Costa Rica

      The number of protected areas around the world has significantly increased. However, the effects of this policy on the wellbeing of local households are still under debate. Using pre-treatment characteristics and household surveys with highly disaggregated geographic reference, we explore how national parks affect the wages of local workers in Costa Rica.

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