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Saving rainforests may help reduce poverty

Date:
May 25, 2010
Source:
Georgia State University
Summary:
Saving rainforests and protecting land in national parks and reserves reduced poverty in two developing countries, according to new research.

A new study shows that saving rainforests and protecting land in national parks and reserves reduced poverty in two developing countries, according to research by a Georgia State University professor.

Paul J. Ferraro, associate professor of economics in GSU's Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, with four co-authors, looked at the long term impacts of the poor living near parks and reserves established in 1985 or earlier in Costa Rica and Thailand.

The logic goes against the conventional wisdom that says taking away resources, such as farm land and forests, exacerbates poverty.

"The results are surprising," Ferraro said. "Most people might expect that if you restrict resources, people on average will be worse off."

The research, entitled "Protected areas reduced poverty in Costa Rica and Thailand," was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America journal.

The authors speculate that the conservation of biodiverse areas may have helped the poor because of tourism and infrastructure, such as new roadways, which may have provided new economic opportunities.

While Costa Rica and Thailand are not representative of all developing nations, Ferraro said the results are promising. He said the study can be replicated elsewhere in the world to look at the impacts of efforts to protect the environment and reduce poverty, two of the United Nations Millennium Development goals.

Ferraro's co-authors are Kwaw Andam of the International Food Policy Research Institute, Katharine R.E. Sims of Amherst College, Margaret B. Holland of the University of Wisconsin, and Andrew Healy of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Georgia State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. K. S. Andam, P. J. Ferraro, K. R. E. Sims, A. Healy, M. B. Holland. Protected areas reduced poverty in Costa Rica and Thailand. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2010; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0914177107

Cite This Page:

Georgia State University. "Saving rainforests may help reduce poverty." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100525103939.htm>.
Georgia State University. (2010, May 25). Saving rainforests may help reduce poverty. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100525103939.htm
Georgia State University. "Saving rainforests may help reduce poverty." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100525103939.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

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