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Research to manage the Environment for Development

Recent publications


Multiple and Concurrent Sex Partnerships and Social Norms: Young Adults’ Sexual Relationships in the Metropolitan Communities of Cape Town, South Africa

Even though antiretroviral treatment is becoming more efficient and available, new HIV infections still occur, and this is particularly evident in the sub-Saharan Africa region. Heterosexual intercourse is still the main mode of HIV transmission in the region, and multiple and concurrent sex partners are arguably crucial for the spread of the epidemic.


The Effects of Subway Expansion on Traffic Conditions: Evidence from Beijing

To alleviate traffic congestion, one of the most pressing urban challenges in developing countries, Beijing’s government has been investing increasingly in subway infrastructure. In this study, using fine-scale daily traffic records from 2009 to 2013, we perform a regression discontinuity design to examine the average treatment effects of subway openings on traffic conditions in Beijing from 2009 to 2013. Three findings emerge from our empirical analysis. First, the opening of a new subway line resulted in a significant decline of daily passenger bus ridership, by 452,400 on average.


Adaptive capacity, drought and the performance of community-based drinking water organizations in Costa Rica

Community-based drinking water organizations (CBDWOs) are the most important providers of water in rural areas of the developing world. They are responsible for coping with future threats due to climate change, besides other non-climatic drivers of change such as demographic growth. The inherent capacities of CBDWOs to adapt to external drivers of change would be greatly conditioned by their capacities to initiate and catalyze collective processes.


Risk management in agriculture: Ongoing studies with coffee farmers in Costa Rica affected by coffee leaf rust

The Economics and Environment for Development Research Program (EEfD) at CATIE is leading a series of studies on decision-making under risk. We address the issue of adaptation to climate change from the perspective of how farmers’ attitudes towards risk, affect the adoption of different adaptation strategies, including crop insurance demand, and in the light of the recent coffee rust epidemic in Central America.


Livestock and Private Tree Holdings in Rural Ethiopia: The Effects of Collective Action Institutions, Tenure Security and Market Access

This article uses househld panel data spanning the period 2000–2007 to test hypotheses from the literature that secure land tenure, market access and collective action promote accumulation of private capital assets in rural highland Ethiopia. The three natural capital assets analysed in the article, livestock, eucalyptus trees and non-eucalyptus trees on households’ farm plots, make up virtually 100 per cent of privately held disposable assets. Incomes and capital stocks are extremely low and constant and tree assets are at least as important as livestock. We find that collective action and secure land tenure have strong positive effects on accumulation of livestock and other trees, but not eucalyptus. We also find evidence that market access promotes eucalyptus holdings and that other types of wealth tend to be positively associated with private natural capital stocks.


Effects of Wildlife Resources on Community Welfare: Income, Poverty and Inequality

This paper demonstrates the importance of wildlife in the portfolio of environmental income in the livelihoods of poor rural communities living adjacent to a national park. The results show that wealthier households consume more wildlife products in total than do relatively poor households. However, poorer households derive greater proportional benefit than wealthier households from the consumption of wildlife resources. Excluding wildlife understates the relative contribution of environmental resources while at the same time overstating the relative contribution of farm and wage income.


Gender Differences in Climate Change Risk, Food Security, and Adaptation: A Study of Rural Households’ Reliance on Agriculture and Natural Resources to Sustain Livelihoods

Climate and weather variability in sub-Saharan Africa disproportionately leave female-headed households food insecure. However, the extent and reasons for these gender differences are, thus far, not well understood. This study examines gender-food-climate connections using longitudinal data from rural households in north-eastern South Africa. Results confirm gender distinctions in that male-headed households are more food secure. Importantly, however, female-headed households are not a homogenous group.


Decentralization, Market Integration, and Efficiency-Equity Trade-Offs: Evidence from Joint Forest Management in Ethiopian Villages

Extant literature on Joint Forest Management (JFM) impact evaluation has concluded that it generally does not provide sufficient incentives to justify the costs that forest use restrictions impose on local people. However, there is a dearth of evidence concerning whether alternative JFM intervention with improved market linkages for non-timber forest products has similar implications. In this study, we evaluated the income and distributive effects of a JFM program in Ethiopia in which additional support for improved market linkages of non-timber forest products was provided.