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Effect of protected areas on forest crimes in Brazil

Saulo de Oliveira Folharini, Silas Nogueira de Melo and Stephen R. Cameron

Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 2022, vol. 65, issue 2, 272-287

Abstract: Forest crimes are a sparsely researched topic. There is ample evidence that protected areas play a role in lessening deforestation in the developing world, but their relationship to forest crimes is unknown. We examine the coastal municipalities of São Paulo State, Brazil to identify what role protected areas play in the incidence of forest crimes, using a series of regression models. Our findings provide support for a positive and significant relationship between protected areas and forest crime, likely due to increased opportunities for the commission of crimes, enhanced environmental monitoring and enforcement, and the reduction of legally exploitable forest areas. In addition, education levels were significant in contributing to increased forest crimes. The implications of our results are discussed in the context of public policy as well as forest crime prevention initiatives. While protected areas appear to contribute to a higher incidence of forest crimes in coastal São Paulo State.

Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2021.1881885

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