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Evaluating economic policies for promoting rainforest conservation in developing countries

Ruitenbeek, Herman Jack (1990) Evaluating economic policies for promoting rainforest conservation in developing countries. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Economic policies are often suggested as mechanisms for promoting rainforest conservation in developing countries. To help decide whether international resources should be used to protect specific rainforcsts, the calculation of a "rainforest supply price" (RSP) is proposed. If protection is warranted, then empirical analyses explore the conditions under which selected policies within developing countries might be effective in protecting rainforests. Korup National Park in Cameroon contains the oldest rainforest in Africa and - as a haven for important endangered species- it is the subject of active international conservation efforts. A cost-bencfit analysis of a conservation project to protect Korup from increased land-use pressures suggests that it is not in Cameroon's interest unless a 5.4 million ECU inducement is transferred to Cameroon. Given the protection afforded, the transfer is equivalent to a RSP of 1060 ECU per km2 per year. Evaluations of six other tropical rainforest projects suggests that international donors made transfers having values ranging from 15 to 1575ECU per km2 per year. It is thus concluded that the inducements required are within a range which conservation interests are apparently willing to mobilise. To target inducements the provision of incentives in a "buffer zone" around a park is often believed to promote conservation. This is based on the hypothesis that increased incomes will draw individuals out of the park and will give them something better to do than exploit the park. A survey of 341 households around Korup was analysed in detail to test this hypothesis. Evidence suggests that economic development in the buffer zone would increase pressures on the park because: a) higher incomes would reduce emigration from the region and would thus cause greater population pressure on the Park; and, b) hunting effort increases as non-hunting income increases.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 1990 Herman Jack Ruitenbeek
Library of Congress subject classification: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Sets: Departments > Economics
Supervisor: Stern, Nicholas

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