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Parks, People, and Forest Protection: An Institutional Assessment of the Effectiveness of Protected Areas


Are parks effective in forest conservation? This study examines data from 163 forests in 13 countries to determine the necessity of legally established protected areas for forest conservation and alternative conditions and institutions that may conserve forests. The results show no statistically significant differences in forest conditions between legally protected forests and forests governed by users who establish and recognize forest rules. Furthermore, higher levels of vegetation density and significantly more forest rules exist in areas not legally protected. The dearth of rules in protected areas suggests that parks may not be the optimal governance structure for promoting local conservation.

Hayes, T. 2010. Biological Conservation 34(12): 2065-2074

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