Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Synergies between livestock production and hydrological function in Arenal, Costa Rica


Author Info

  • Aylward, Bruce
  • Echeverr a, Jaime
Registered author(s):


    Conventional wisdom amongst environmentalists holds that the cutting of tropical forest for livestock production is not only bad business but also bad for the environment. In particular, it is thought that conversion to pasture leads to a rise in the sedimentation of waterways and reservoirs, an increase in flooding and loss of dry season water supply. Using the case of the Rio Chiquito watershed (which drains into Lake Arenal, Costa Rica), the paper questions this conventional wisdom. The paper demonstrates that both livestock production and the associated downstream hydrological impacts represent important values to the local economy; values that significantly outweigh expected returns from options for reforestation or forest regeneration. Given that non-hydrological externalities associated with livestock production are expected to be of minimal importance in the watershed, there is little reason as is often proposed to foster large-scale reforestation of the watershed or to purchase land for protection. Instead efforts should focus on how to maximize the complementary returns from livestock and the support to hydroelectric power provided by water production.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL:
    File Function: link to article abstract page
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Environment and Development Economics.

    Volume (Year): 6 (2001)
    Issue (Month): 03 (July)
    Pages: 359-381

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:cup:endeec:v:6:y:2001:i:03:p:359-381_00

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: The Edinburgh Building, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 2RU UK
    Fax: +44 (0)1223 325150
    Web page:

    Related research



    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Lele, Sharachchandra & Srinivasan, Veena, 2013. "Disaggregated economic impact analysis incorporating ecological and social trade-offs and techno-institutional context: A case from the Western Ghats of India," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 98-112.
    2. Ajit Menon & SHARACHCHANDRA LELE & Ishwar Patil & Shrinivas Badiger & Rajeev Kumar, 2009. "The Economic Impact of Forest Hydrological Services on Local Communities: A Case Study from the Western Ghats of India," Working Papers id:1820, eSocialSciences.


    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


    Access and download statistics


    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cup:endeec:v:6:y:2001:i:03:p:359-381_00. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Keith Waters).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.