Skip to main content

2009-10-15 | Policy Brief

Mapping success in protecting forests

This brief is based on results from: Pfaff, A., Robalino, J., Sanchez-Azofeifa, G.A., Andam, K. and Ferraro, P., 2009 "Park Location Affects Forest Protection: Land Characteristics Cause Differences in Park Impacts across Costa Rica," The B
Download reference

For Costa Rica’s parks and reserves, a threatened location is the key to effectively avoiding deforestation

Billions of dollars are spent every year on over 100,000 protected areas
around the world. Yet it is unclear how effective this protection is in
actually reducing deforestation. With global carbon payments on the horizon, sites known to permit effectively avoided deforestation should be more attractive when allocating scarce conservation resources. Now, findings from Costa Rica suggest key criteria. In this Central American country’s national parks, deforestation is avoided most in protected areas closer to the capital and to national roads, and on flatter land — generally, land that faces more threat of deforestation. This is information that could map the way to better informed investment.