Conditions Associated with Protected Area Success in Conservation and Poverty Reduction

PNAS, Vol. 108, No. 34, August 2011

6 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2015

See all articles by Paul J. Ferraro

Paul J. Ferraro

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School; Georgia State University - Department of Economics

Merlin Hanauer

Sonoma State University - School of Business and Economics

Katharine R. E. Sims

Amherst College - Department of Economics

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

Protected areas are the dominant approach to protecting biodiversity and the supply of ecosystem services. Because these protected areas are often placed in regions with widespread poverty and because they can limit agricultural development and exploitation of natural resources, concerns have been raised about their potential to create or reinforce poverty traps. Previous studies suggest that the protected area systems in Costa Rica and Thailand, on average, reduced deforestation and alleviated poverty.We examine these results in more detail by characterizing the heterogeneity of responses to protection conditional on observable characteristics. We find no evidence that protected areas trap historically poorer areas in poverty. In fact, we find that poorer areas at baseline seem to have the greatest levels of poverty reduction as a result of protection. However, we do find that the spatial characteristics associated with the most poverty alleviation are not necessarily the characteristics associated with the most avoided deforestation. We show how an understanding of these spatially heterogeneous responses to protection can be used to generate suitability maps that identify locations in which both environmental and poverty alleviation goals are most likely to be achieved.

Keywords: evaluation, parks, tropical forest, nonparametric, matching

Suggested Citation

Ferraro, Paul J. and Hanauer, Merlin and Sims, Katharine R. E., Conditions Associated with Protected Area Success in Conservation and Poverty Reduction (2011). PNAS, Vol. 108, No. 34, August 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2553023

Paul J. Ferraro

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School ( email )

100 International Drive
Baltimore, MD 21202
United States

Georgia State University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 3992
Atlanta, GA 30302-3992
United States

Merlin Hanauer (Contact Author)

Sonoma State University - School of Business and Economics ( email )

1801 East Cotati Avenue
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
United States

Katharine R. E. Sims

Amherst College - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 5000
Amherst, MA 01002-5000
United States

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