Environmental and Resource Economics

, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 269–286 | Cite as

Protecting Ecosystems and Alleviating Poverty with Parks and Reserves: ‘Win-Win’ or Tradeoffs?

Article

Abstract

National parks and reserves are globally popular approaches to protecting biodiversity and the supply of ecosystem services. Because these protected areas limit agricultural development and exploitation of natural resources, they are frequently opposed in developing nations where reducing poverty is an important social objective. Conservation advocates argue that protected areas can alleviate poverty by supplying ecosystem services, promoting tourism and improving infrastructure. Thus ‘win-win’ scenarios may be possible in which ecosystems and their services are protected and poverty is alleviated. Previous studies (Andam et al. in Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 105(42):16089–16094 2008; 2010) suggest that Costa Rica’s protected area system reduced deforestation and alleviated poverty. We demonstrate that these environmental and social impacts were spatially heterogeneous. Importantly, the characteristics associated with the most avoided deforestation are the characteristics associated with the least poverty alleviation. In other words, the same characteristics that limited the conservation effectiveness of protected areas may have improved the social welfare impacts of these areas. These results suggest that ‘win-win’ efforts to protect ecosystems and alleviate poverty may be possible when policymakers are satisfied with low levels of each outcome, but tradeoffs exist when more of either outcome is desired.

Keywords

Ecosystems Poverty Protected areas Impacts Program evaluation Econometrics Costa Rica 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Abadie A, Drukker D, Herr J, Imbens G (2004) Implementing matching estimators for average treatment effects in Stata. Stata J 4: 290–311Google Scholar
  2. Abadie A, Imbens G (2006) Large sample properties of matching estimators for average treatment effects. Econometrica 74(1): 235–267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Adams W, Aveling R, Brockington D, Dickson B, Elliott J, Hutton J, Roe D, Vira B, Wolmer W (2004) Biodiversity conservation and the eradication of poverty. Science 306(5699): 1146–1149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Andam KS, Ferraro PJ, Pfaff A, Sanchez-Azofeifa G, Robalino JA (2008) Measuring the effectiveness of protected area networks in reducing deforestation. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 105(42): 16089–16094CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Andam K, Ferraro P, Sims K, Healy A, Holland M (2010) Protected areas reduced poverty in Costa Rica and Thailand. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107(22): 9996CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cavatassi R, Davis B, Lipper L (2004) Estimating poverty over time and space: construction of a time-variant poverty index for Costa Rica. ESA working paperGoogle Scholar
  7. Coad L, Campbell A, Miles L, Humphries K (2008) The costs and benefits of protected areas for local livelihoods: a review of the current literature. World Conservation Monitoring Centre working paper, UNEPGoogle Scholar
  8. Cropper M, Puri J, Griffiths C (2001) Predicting the location of deforestation: the role of roads and protected areas in North Thailand. Land Econ 77(2): 172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Crump R, Hotz V, Imbens G, Mitnik O (2008) Nonparametric tests for treatment effect heterogeneity. Rev Econ Stat 90(3): 389–405CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Crump R, Hotz V, Imbens G, Mitnik O (2009) Dealing with limited overlap in estimation of average treatment effects. Biometrika 96(1): 187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. de Camino Velozo R, de Camino R, Segura O, Arias L, Perez I (2000) Costa Rica: forest strategy and the evolution of land use. World Bank Publications, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  12. Duffy-Deno K (1998) The effect of federal wilderness on county growth in the intermountain western United States. J Reg Sci 38(1): 109–136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gindling T, Terrell K (2004) Legal minimum wages and the wages of formal and informal sector workers in Costa Rica. William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series, University of MichiganGoogle Scholar
  14. Ho D, Imai K, King G, Stuart E (2007) Matching as nonparametric preprocessing for reducing model dependence in parametric causal inference. Polit Anal 15: 199–236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Holland P (1986) Statistics and causal inference. J Am Stat Assoc 81(396): 945–960CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Imbens G (2004) Nonparametric estimation of average treatment effects under exogeneity: A review. Rev Econ Statist 86(1): 4–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Imbens G, Wooldridge J (2009) Recent developments in the econometrics of program evaluation. J Econ Lit 47(1): 5–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Joppa L, Pfaff A (2010) Reassessing the forest impacts of protection: the challenge of nonrandom location and a corrective measure. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1185: 135–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lewis D, Hunt G, Plantinga A (2002) Public conservation land and employment growth in the northern forest region. Land Econ 78(2): 245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lewis D, Hunt G, Plantinga A (2003) Does public lands policy affect local wage growth. Growth Change 34(1): 64–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Manski C (2005) Social choice with partial knowledge of treatment response. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  22. MEA (2005) Ecosystems and human well-being. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Island PressGoogle Scholar
  23. Pfaff A, Robalino J, Sanchez-Azofeifa G, Andam K, Ferraro P (2009) Park location affects forest protection: land characteristics cause differences in park impacts across Costa Rica. BE J Econom Anal Policy 9(2): 5Google Scholar
  24. Reibel M (2007) Geographic information systems and spatial data processing in demography: a review. Population Res Pol Rev 26(5): 601–618CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Robalino J (2007) Land conservation policies and income distribution: who bears the burden of our environmental efforts. Environ Dev Econ 12(04): 521–533CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Rosenbaum P (2002) Observational studies. SpringerGoogle Scholar
  27. Rubin B, Hyman G (2000) The extent and economic impacts of soil erosion in Costa Rica. In: CAS Hall, C Perez, G Leclerc (eds) Quantifying sustainable development: the future of tropical economies. Academic Press, San DiegoGoogle Scholar
  28. Sims KRE (2010) Conservation and development: evidence from Thai protected areas. J Environ Econ Manage (Forthcoming)Google Scholar
  29. Somanathan E, Prabhakar R, Mehta B (2009) Decentralization for cost-effective conservation. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 106(11): 4143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Wilkie D, Morelli G, Demmer J, Starkey M, Telfer P, Steil M (2006) Parks and people: assessing the human welfare effects of establishing protected areas for biodiversity conservation. Conserv Biol 20(1): 247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. WDPA (2009) World database on protected areas: 2009 annual release. http://www.wdpa.org/AnnualRelease.aspx

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsAndrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA

Personalised recommendations