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The impact of buffer zone size and management on illegal extraction, park protection and enforcement

Robinson, E. ORCID:, Albers, H. J. and Busby, G. M. (2013) The impact of buffer zone size and management on illegal extraction, park protection and enforcement. Ecological Economics, 92. pp. 96-103. ISSN 0921-8009

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2012.06.019


Many protected areas or parks in developing countries have buffer zones at their boundaries to achieve the dual goals of protecting park resources and providing resource benefits to neighbouring people. Despite the prevalence of these zoning policies, few behavioural models of people’s buffer zone use inform the sizing and management of those zones. This paper uses a spatially explicit resource extraction model to examine the impact of buffer zone size and management on extraction by local people, both legal and illegal, and the impact of that extraction on forest quality in the park’s core and buffer zone. The results demonstrate trade-offs between the level of enforcement, the size of a buffer zone, and the amount of illegal extraction in the park; and describe implications for “enrichment” of buffer zones and evaluating patterns of forest degradation.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Agri-Food Economics & Marketing
ID Code:28485
Uncontrolled Keywords:Protected area management; forest reserves; costly enforcement; buffer zone management; spatial economics


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