June 14, 2011

Protected forests benefit locals

Communities benefit from rainforest conservation

Economic development experts have long argued that having a protected area created next to your village is more likely to cause problems than provide benefits, yet a recent study, ranging from Thailand to Costa Rica, demonstrates the opposite.

According to the study (published in the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management), protected areas like rainforest Biosphere Reserves or National Parks can benefit local economies through a variety of mechaisms: attracting tourism, increased productivity (by preserving biodiversity along with water and land ecosystems) and by improved local infrastructure or institutional strengthening and development.

It’s not easy to balance these benefits against recognised disbenefits to local people such as restrictions to forest resources like timber for house building and game for subsistence. However, the new the study argues that previous research noted communities next to protected areas were poorer than average communities, but failed to see this as an effect of remoteness rather than location next to something like a National Park. By comparing poverty levels to those of similarly remote communities, this study produced more positive results.


  • Lisa Kern says:

    Hello, my name is Lisa Kern. My daughter started an earth day celebration called Earth Extravaganza in 2015. The proceeds are donated to your organization. 2015 was for Ashaninka and 2016 for Lubutu. She has raised $1,000.00 U.S. dollars each of the last two years. The funds had been delayed in being sent but for the 2015 fundraiser I sent the money in the mail. This recent $1,000.00 online donation was for the 2016 celebration. I was wondering if she could get a certificate to display at this year’s fundraiser being held April 22nd.
    Thank you for your help.
    Lisa Kern

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