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2019-01-11 | project

Protected areas and the poor - Time to re-evaluate evidence and strategies?

Long-standing arguments as to whether parks alleviate poverty or create poverty traps remain unresolved, as do the questions of whether development interventions to reduce human pressures on parks are effective in terms of human wellbeing or conservation outcomes.

Our main research questions are:

  1. What effect have parks had on population density, average and aggregate household income in their neighbouring areas?  
  2. To what extent have tourism and the People and Parks programme played a role in this?

This study will attempt to answer these questions using impact evaluation methods that are more robust than past approaches. The study will use South African parks as a case study, using spatial data augmented by data collected from parks authorities.  The understanding generated by this study is expected to shift thinking about the nature and spatial location of the interventions required to achieve a win-win situation for both people and parks in rural landscapes.