Field Survey Analysis of Conservation Policies and Deforestation Decisions

Through gathering landowners’ experiences and actual practices in situ, researchers at EfD-CA Center work on confirming research findings, contextualize, validate research, and set new hypothesis.


Land owners are constantly making decisions on how to use their property. Land used decision-making is an important subject of study at EfD Centers. Some studies[1] focus on evaluating policy impact such as the case of the effect of Payment for Ecosystem Services on deforestation. Other studies center on how investments in infrastructure and spatial intensification affect deforestation.

EfD-CA Research Fellows Juan Robalino and Irene Burgues and collaborator Alexander Pfaff are now conducting a field survey analysis to contextualize and validate hypothesis of studies conducted on conservation policies and deforestation decision-making. They hope with this analysis to further explore research questions on effects, decision-making, and set new hypothesis.

The field team in charge of Burges will conduct a survey of land owners across Costa Rica to develop a typology that includes socioeconomic indicators and characteristics of the forest in the properties. This way they will contextualize and validate research through gathering landowners’ experiences and actual practices in situ.

For further information please contact the research team.


[1] Se for example: Sanchez, A., A. Pfaff, J. Robalino, and J. Boomhower. 2007. Costa Rica's Payment for Environmental Services Program: Intention, Implementation, and Impact. Conservation Biology 21 (5) , 1165-1173; Payments for Environmental Services: Empirical analysis for Costa Rica (; Pfaff, A., J. Robalino, R. Walker, S. Aldrich, M. Caldas, E. Reis, S. Perz, and C. Bohrer. 2007. “Road Investment, Spatial Intensification and Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon”. Journal of Regional Science 47(1): 109-123 (; Juan Robalino, Alexander Pfaff, G. Arturo Sánchez-Azofeifa, Francisco Alpízar, Carlos León, and Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, ”Deforestation Impacts of Environmental Services Payments – Costa Rica’s PSA Program 2000–2005 ”, EfD Discussion Paper 08-24, a joint publication of the Environment for Development Initiative and Resources for the Future (, Washington DC. August 2008 (…).

News | 27 May 2011