The Impact of Paying for Forest Conservation on Perceived Tenure Security in Ecuador

Peer Reviewed
1 January 2020

We study the impact of Ecuador’s national forest conservation incentives program
on reported land conflicts. Data come from a survey of >900 households located

within 49 indigenous and Afro-Ecuadorian communities holding communal conser-
vation contracts. We use quasi-experimental methods to test for relationships between

program participation and changes in land conflicts. Respondents reported that the
program reduced land conflicts when households resided in communities with de
facto communal tenure arrangements (vs. de facto semiprivate arrangements). We find
no evidence that the conservation incentive program increased land conflicts. These
results counter concerns that conservation payments undermine land tenure security;
in some cases perceived tenure security is improved.

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Publication | 25 February 2020