World Bank / by Brian Blankespoor, et al.
This paper investigates the effectiveness of protected areas in slowing tropical forest clearing in 64 countries in Asia/Pacific, Africa, and Latin America for the period 2001-2012. The investigation compares deforestation rates inside and within 10 kilometers outside the boundary of protected areas. Annual time series of these deforestation rates were constructed from recently published high-resolution data on forest clearing. For 4,028 parks, panel estimation based on a variety of park characteristics was conducted to test if deforestation is lower in protected areas because of their protected status, or if other factors explain the difference. For a sample of 726 parks established since 2002, a test also was conducted to investigate the effect of park establishment on protection. The findings suggest park size, national park status, and management by indigenous people all have significant association with effective protection across regions. For the Asia/Pacific region, the test offers compelling evidence that park establishment has a near-immediate and powerful effect.