Discussion Paper

Optimal Enforcement and Practical Issues of Resource Protection in Developing Countries

Mar 25, 2009 | Elizabeth J.Z. Robinson, Ajay Kumar Mahaputra, Heidi J. Albers

This was created in partnership with Environment for Development .


This paper relates the key findings of the optimal economic enforcement literature to practical issues of enforcing and managing forest and wildlife access restrictions in developing countries. Our experiences, particularly in Tanzania and southern India, detail the major pragmatic issues facing those responsible for protecting natural resources. We identified large gaps in the theoretical literature that limit its ability to inform practical management, including issues of limited funding and cost recovery, multiple layers of enforcement, different incentives faced by those responsible for enforcement, and conflict between protected-area managers’ job requirements and rural people’s needs.