Impacts of Protected Areas on Income Inequality: Evidence from the Giant Panda Biosphere Reserves in Sichuan Province, China
Duan W., Hogarth N., Shen J. (2021)
Journal of Forest Economics: Vol. 36: No. 1-2, pp 27-51. http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/112.00000524
Abtract: Understanding the livelihood impacts of protected areas (PAs) on local people is important to inform equitable and effective regulation and management. In this study, we used non-parametric regression analysis to determine the impacts of PAs on income inequality in 710 rural households living in or around nine giant panda biosphere reserves in Sichuan Province, China. The results show that the PAs not only have a negative impact on household income but also exacerbate income inequality. Based on income structure decomposition, we found that the establishment of PAs mainly increases the gap of on-farm income. We also found that participatory management projects have a positive effect on household income, of which eco-tourism increased household income inequality, while skill training and agricultural projects decreased it. Thus, better conservation policies must be formulated to realize the harmonious and concurrent development of ecological and livelihood objectives.
This paper is an output of the VITRI project: The impact of habitat regulatory policies on ecological protections and rural livelihoods: The case of giant panda protected areas in China https://blogs.helsinki.fi/vitriblog/research-projects/projects/giant-panda-habitat-conservation-and-livelihood/