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Parks versus PES: Evaluating direct and incentive-based land conservation in Mexico

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  • Sims, Katharine R.E.
  • Alix-Garcia, Jennifer M.

Abstract

Protected areas (PAs) and payments for ecosystem services (PES) are the top two mechanisms available for countries to achieve international REDD agreements, yet there are few empirical comparisons of their effects. We estimate the impacts of PAs and PES on forest conservation, poverty reduction, and population change at the locality level in Mexico in the 2000s. Both policies conserved forest, generating an approximately 20–25% reduction in expected forest cover loss. PES created statistically significant but small poverty alleviation while PAs had overall neutral impacts on livelihoods. Estimates by individual policy type for the same level of deforestation risk indicate that biosphere reserves and PES balanced conservation and livelihood goals better than strict protected areas or mixed-use areas. This suggests that both direct and incentive-based instruments can be effective, and that policies combining sustainable financing, flexible zoning, and recognition of local economic goals are more likely to achieve conservation without harming livelihoods.

Suggested Citation

  • Sims, Katharine R.E. & Alix-Garcia, Jennifer M., 2017. "Parks versus PES: Evaluating direct and incentive-based land conservation in Mexico," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 8-28.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:86:y:2017:i:c:p:8-28
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jeem.2016.11.010
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Q56; Q28; Q58; I38; O13; Protected areas; Payments for ecosystem services; Incentive-based regulation; Poverty and environment; Economic development; Conservation policy; Land use; Deforestation; REDD;

    JEL classification:

    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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