Does Resource Commercialization Induce Local Conservation? A Cautionary Tale from Southwestern Morocco
Society and Natural Resources, Forthcoming
Posted: 9 Oct 2002 Last revised: 4 Jul 2013
Date Written: January 1, 2002
Ecotourism, bioprospecting and non-timber product marketing have been promoted recently as market-based instruments for environment protection, but without sound understanding of the resulting net conservation effects. We present evidence on the local conservation effects of recent argan oil commercialization in Morocco, which seems a promising case study in conservation through resource commercialization. Our empirical analysis shows, however, that resource commercialization is not creating strong net conservation incentives because assumptions implicit in the prevailing logic prove incorrect in this case. Generally, the experience of southwestern Morocco provides a cautionary tale about the assumed efficacy of conservation strategies founded on resource commercialization.
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