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Have protected areas in China achieved the ecological and economic “win-win” goals? Evidence from the Giant Panda Reserves of the Min Mont Range

Yi Li and Zhenjiang Song

Forest Policy and Economics, 2022, vol. 144, issue C

Abstract: Evaluating the effectiveness of conservation policies is a primary means in support of continued expansion and improved management of protected areas (PAs) for wildlife. This study assesses the ecological and economic effectiveness of giant panda PAs in the Mont Min Range of southwest China, by taking advantage of the cutting-edge impact evaluation methods and a large panel dataset derived from remote sensing images, GIS data, and socioeconomic statistics. Our results show that the most prominent effects are the increase in giant panda activities, the improvement of forest cover, the development of ecotourism and environmentally friendly agriculture, and the growth of farmer income. Also, the PAs have not caused ecological damage and poverty to undesignated areas outside of them. Meanwhile, they have not enhanced the growth of bamboo resources nor mitigated the threat of intense human pressures. Overall, the PAs have thus achieved a “win-win” outcome. Our study contributes to improved understanding and action of wildlife conservation not only for China but also for many other parts of the world.

Keywords: Conservation policy; Protected area; Giant panda habitat; Effectiveness evaluation; “Ecological-economic” win-win (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.forpol.2022.102845

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