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ECONOMIC STRATEGIES FOR COEVOLUTION: PARKS, BUFFER ZONES AND BIODIVERSITY

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Abstract

The creation of parks and preserves in less developed countries is seen as an important step in preserving biodiversity and genetic information (Dixon and Sherman 1990). The establishment of a park or preserve, however, is often seen as a threat by rural residents if they are denied access to areas where hunting, gathering or small scale agricultural provided them with food, fuel or marketable products. In a series of papers Norgaard (1981, 1984 and 1985) advocates development strategies that promote coevolution of socioeconomic and ecological systems. In this dynamic context, coevolution might be defined by a set of trajectories describing economic welfare and biodiversity that remain within acceptable bounds over some future horizon. (1) What are some possible measures for economic welfare and biodiversity? (2) How might one identify the scale and location of hunting, gathering and agricultural activities within a buffer zone to a park or preserve that would qualify as coevolutionary? (3) How might one optimize over the set of coevolutionary strategies? A methodology is proposed to address these questions and to explore the economic incentives that might support a coevolutionary strategy in the buffer zone to a park or preserve.

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WP 1991-08 September 1991

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1991-09-01

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Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University

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