Protected Areas' Impacts on Brazilian Amazon Deforestation: Examining Conservation-Development Interactions to Inform Planning.

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2015

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Abstract

Protected areas are the leading forest conservation policy for species and ecoservices goals and they may feature in climate policy if countries with tropical forest rely on familiar tools. For Brazil's Legal Amazon, we estimate the average impact of protection upon deforestation and show how protected areas' forest impacts vary significantly with development pressure. We use matching, i.e., comparisons that are apples-to-apples in observed land characteristics, to address the fact that protected areas (PAs) tend to be located on lands facing less pressure. Correcting for that location bias lowers our estimates of PAs' forest impacts by roughly half. Further, it reveals significant variation in PA impacts along development-related dimensions: for example, the PAs that are closer to roads and the PAs closer to cities have higher impact. Planners have multiple conservation and development goals, and are constrained by cost, yet still conservation planning should reflect what our results imply about future impacts of PAs.

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10.1371/journal.pone.0129460

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Pfaff, Alexander, Juan Robalino, Diego Herrera and Catalina Sandoval (2015). Protected Areas' Impacts on Brazilian Amazon Deforestation: Examining Conservation-Development Interactions to Inform Planning. PLoS One, 10(7). p. e0129460. 10.1371/journal.pone.0129460 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/12707.

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Scholars@Duke

Pfaff

Alexander Pfaff

Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy

Alex Pfaff is a Professor of Public Policy, Economics and Environment at Duke University. He studies how economic development affects and is affected by natural resources and the environment. His focus is on the impacts of conservation policies (such as protected areas, ecoservices payments, and certifications) and development policies (such as roads and rights). Those impacts are functions of choices by individuals and communities that affect land use, water quantity and quality, human exposures (to arsenic, mercury, mining, and particulates), and both the provision and use of information.

Research accessible at AlexPfaff.com




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