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Parks, Buffer Zones, and Costly Enforcement

  • Elizabeth J. Z. Robinson
  • Heidi J. Albers

The reality of protected area management is that enforcing forest and park boundaries is costly and so most likely incomplete, due in part to the pressures exerted on the boundaries by local people who often have traditionally relied on the park resources. Buffer zones are increasingly being proposed and implemented to protect both forest resources and livelihoods. Developing a spatially-explicit optimal enforcement model, this paper demonstrates that there is a trade-off between the amount spent on enforcement, the size of a formal buffer zone, and the extent to which a forest can be protected from illegal extraction. Indeed, given the reality of limited enforcement budgets, a forest manager with a mandate to protect a whole forest may in fact end up doing a worse job than one who is able to incorporate an appropriately sized buffer zone into their management plans that, combined with more effective enforcement of a smaller exclusion zone, provide the appropriate incentives for villagers to extract only in the periphery of the forest, rather than venture further into the forest.

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Paper provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford in its series CSAE Working Paper Series with number 2006-15.

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Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2006-15
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  1. Bassanini, Andrea & Scarpetta, Stefano, 2002. "Does human capital matter for growth in OECD countries? A pooled mean-group approach," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 399-405, February.
  2. William Easterly & Ross Levine & David Roodman, 2004. "Aid, Policies, and Growth: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 774-780, June.
  3. David Dollar & Craig Burnside, 2000. "Aid, Policies, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 847-868, September.
  4. Hansen, Henrik & Tarp, Finn, 2001. "Aid and growth regressions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 547-570, April.
  5. Clague, Christopher, et al, 1999. " Contract-Intensive Money: Contract Enforcement, Property Rights, and Economic Performance," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 185-211, June.
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