Traditionally, siting and sizing decisions for parks and reserves reflected ecological characteristics but typically failed to consider ecological costs created from displaced resource collection, welfare costs on nearby rural people, and enforcement costs.
Using a spatial game-theoretic model that incorporates the interaction of socioeconomic and ecological settings, we show how incorporating more recent mandates that include rural welfare and surrounding landscapes can result in very different optimal sizing decisions. The model informs our discussion of recent forest management in Tanzania, reserve sizing and siting decisions, estimating reserve effectiveness, and determining patterns of avoided forest degradation in Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation programs.
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