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Development and biodiversity conservation in Sub-Saharan Africa: A spatial analysis

  • Johanna CHOUMERT

    ()

    (Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International(CERDI))

  • Ariane Manuela AMIN

    ()

A better understanding of the relationship between economic development and biodiversity loss is of great relevance, given the current rapid extinction of species along with challenges born from the context of economic development in poor countries. The purpose of the current study is to provide a sound analysis, within the framework of an Environmental Kuznets Curve, of the relationship between economic development and pressure on biodiversity. Drawing on the most up-to-date data on threatened species from 48 sub-Saharan African countries, we used Maximum-likelihood and generalized spatial two-stage least-squares estimators to account for spatial-autoregressiveness in the dependent variable, as well as in the explanatory variables and in the disturbances of the models. We find evidence that supports an inverted U-shaped relationship between development and biodiversity imperilment, measured as the percent of threatened bird species. The results also reveal some species-level differences in the biodiversity-development relationship, since the Environmental Kuznets Curve hypothesis doesn’t hold for mammals. This analysis contributes to the literature by partially challenging the paradigm of a strictly negative relationship between biodiversity and development in a developing countries context.

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Paper provided by CERDI in its series Working Papers with number 201302.

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Length: 34
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Economics Bulletin, 2015, pages 729-744
Handle: RePEc:cdi:wpaper:1421
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