Protected Areas do not constrain local economic growth in the Brazilian Amazon


Protected areas are designed by the government to protect both species and ecosystems which in turn provide multiple benefits to people, thus they are essential to sustainable development.

However several groups opposed to protected areas state that protected areas constrain economic growth. These groups argue that protected areas occupy lands that could be used for agriculture, among other commercial activities.

Prof. Silva and colleagues from Brazil (Érico Kauano, Fernanda Michalski, and José Alexandre Diniz) evaluated whether or not protected areas constrained local economic development in the Brazilian Amazon from 2004 to 2014 in a paper just published in Land Use Policy.

They found no negative effect from protected areas upon the economic growth of the region's 516 municipalities.

They suggest if protected areas are fully implemented, they could help local economies by improving governance, reducing illegal activities, and creating new economic activities centered around conservation.

Read more in the full paper.