Brazilian Amazon Protected Areas’ Spillovers and Two Critical Underlying Mechanisms

Authors: Diego Herrera*, Environmental Defense Fund, Alexander Pfaff, Duke University, Juan Robalino, Universidad de Costa Rica
Topics: Land Use, Environment, Spatial Analysis & Modeling
Keywords: Protected Areas, Deforestation, Spillovers, Brazilian Amazon, Matching
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Roosevelt 5, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The creation of protected areas (PAs) has been the dominant policy in the efforts to protect forests. Rigorous evidence about the impacts of PAs on rates of deforestation is increasing, but most is still limited to evaluations within the boundaries of PAs. Even when impact within a PA has been estimated as rigorously as possible, because the total effect of protection may involve impacts both inside and spillovers outside the PA, estimates could misstate total impacts. In this study we start with an examination of local deforestation spillovers from Brazilian Amazon PAs. Next we evaluate two mechanisms through which PAs could affect forest nearby. In particular, using spatial, census and survey data, we explore migration and road building decisions. Empirical evidence from different matching techniques shows that PA creation can shift private and public expectations to influence migration and informal road building choices beyond PA boundaries in a way that is consistent with deforestation spillovers. The sign and significance of the observed spillovers, however, vary by type of PA (Federal, State or Indigenous Lands) and across Amazon states.

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