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Park management

2012-10-19

Success factors for pairing conservation with enhanced forest and fish-based livelihoods

In settings in which people rely directly on either forest or marine resources, protecting both the natural resources and livelihoods is challenging. Findings from Tanzania suggest that, where budgets are limited, key factors for a successful combination of livelihood and conservation policies include the strategic location of livelihood projects that target those most dependent on the protected resource rather than those most likely to cooperate with access restrictions.

2012-08-30

Averting biodiversity collapse in tropical forest protected areas

The rapid disruption of tropical forests probably imperils global biodiversity more than any other contemporary phenomenon. With deforestation advancing quickly, protected areas are increasingly becoming final refuges for threatened species and natural ecosystem processes.

2011-10-25

Measuring the Effectiveness of Protected Area Networks in Reducing Deforestation: A Rigorous Impact Evaluation Approach

Global efforts to reduce tropical deforestation rely heavily on the establishment of protected areas. Measuring the effectiveness of these areas is difficult because the amount of deforestation that would have occurred in the absence of legal protection cannot be directly observed. Conventional methods of evaluating the effectiveness of protected areas can be biased because protection is not randomly assigned and because protection can induce deforestation spillovers (displacement) to neighboring forests. We demonstrate that estimates of effectiveness can be substantially improved by controlling for biases along dimensions that are observable, measuring spatial spillovers, and testing the sensitivity of estimates to potential hidden biases.

2011-10-25

Park Location Affects Forest Protection: Land Characteristics Cause Differences in Park Impacts across Costa Rica

To support conservation planning, we ask whether a park's impact on deforestation rates varies with observable land characteristics that planners could use to prioritize sites. Using matching methods to address bias from non-random location, we find deforestation impacts vary greatly due to park lands' characteristics. Avoided deforestation is greater if parks are closer to the capital city, in sites closer to national roads, and on lower slopes. In allocating scarce conservation resources, policy makers may consider many factors such as the ecosystem services provided by a site and the costs of acquiring the site. Pfaff and Sanchez 2004 claim impact can rise with a focus upon threatened land, all else equal. We provide empirical support in the context of Costa Rica's renowned park system. This insight, alongside information on eco-services and land costs, should guide investments.

2010-05-04

Using contingent valuation to price ecotourism sites in developing countries

National parks attract tourists to developing countries. However, there are only rare cases where the full economic rent from tourism in protected areas has been captured by these countries. This severely limits the capacity of developing countries to sustain these protected areas. The present study investigates the efficiency of the current pricing policies of Kakum National Park in Ghana.

2010-03-26

Paying the Price of Sweetening Your Donation: Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment

Using a natural field experiment in a recreational site, a public good almost fully dependent on voluntary donations, the authors explored the crowding-out effect of gift rewards. First, they investigated whether receiving a map in appreciation of a donation crowded out prosocial behavior and found no significant effect of giving the map. Second, they explored the effect of adding the map to a treatment designed to increase donations. Interestingly, when the gift was combined with their attempt to trigger reputational and self image motives, the probability of donating decreased significantly, compared to the social reference treatment alone.

2010-03-12

The effects of national parks on local communities’ wages and employment in Costa Rica

Despite of the clear global environmental benefits of increasing the amount of protected areas, how these conservation policies affect the well being of individuals in nearby localities is still under debate. Using household surveys with highly disaggregated geographic reference, this study explores how national parks have affected wages and unemployment in Costa Rica for the period 2000-2007.

2008-04-08

Anonymity, Reciprocity and Conformity: Evidence from Voluntary Contributions to a Natural Park in Costa Rica

In a natural field experiment, the authors quantified the importance of anonymity, reciprocity, and conformity through the provision of social reference levels in order to explain voluntary contributions. In the study setting, the effects of the various treatments were small, suggesting that the self-image as an honorable person, irrespective of other people’s opinions, could be an important explanation of contribution behavior. The experiment overall showed no clear evidence that current practice by charitable organizations is inefficient.