Protected areas are a cornerstone of forest conservation in developing countries. Yet we know little about their effects on forest cover change or the socioeconomic status of local communities, and even less about the relationship between these effects. This paper assesses whether “win-win” scenarios are possible—that is, whether protected areas can both stem forest cover change and alleviate poverty. We examine protected areas in the Peruvian Amazon using high-resolution satellite images and household-level survey data for the early 2000s. To control for protected areas’ nonrandom siting, we rely on quasi-experimental (matching) methods. We find that the average protected area reduces forest cover change. We do not find a robust negative effect on local communities. Protected areas that allow sustainable extractive activities are more effective in reducing forest cover change but less effective in delivering win-win outcomes.
Allen Blackman is a Nonresident Fellow at RFF, whose work on industrial pollution control analyzes public disclosure programs, economic incentive instruments, and voluntary regulation.
Conferences & Panels — Sep 1, 2020
Stanford Global Carbon Management Workshop
An invitation-only workshop exploring opportunities for global carbon management research
RFF Live — Sep 24, 2020
Climate Insights 2020: Climate Change and the American Voter
This event is part of the global digital activations for Climate Week NYC 2020 and will focus on US political dynamics, climate change, and American voters’ priorities.
Working Paper — Sep 16, 2020
Supply-Side Reforms to Oil and Gas Production on Federal Lands: Modeling the Implications for Climate Emissions, Revenues, and Production Shifts
An examination of three proposed policies to reform the federal oil and gas leasing program: increased royalty rates, carbon adders, and a ban on new leases on federal lands.