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2010-01-13 | Peer Reviewed

Protecting Developing Countries' Forests: Enforcement in Theory and Practice

Robinson, Elizabeth J Z, Heidi J. Albers and Ajay Kumar Mahaputra. 2010. “Protecting Developing Countries' Forests: Enforcement in Theory and Practice.” Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research 2:1: 25-38.
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This paper relates the key findings of the optimal economic enforcement literature to practical issues of enforcing forest and wildlife management access restrictions in developing countries. Our experiences, particularly from Tanzania and eastern India, provide detail of the key pragmatic issues facing those responsible for protecting natural resources.

We identify large gaps in the theoretical literature that limit its ability to inform practical management, including issues of limited funding and cost recovery, multiple tiers of enforcement and the incentives facing enforcement officers, and conflict between protected area managers and rural people's needs.