Assessing the Economic Impacts of Protected Areas on Regional Economies in Zambia, Fiji, Nepal, and Brazil

Protected areas serve as a critical refuge for endangered biological resources. They also can create economic benefits as nature tourist destinations. Benefits include park entry fees and the income tourists spend at lodges and other tourism businesses, but they also include the many indirect effects that visitor spending creates for businesses and households around the parks and in nearby market towns.

If economic benefits from protecting biodiversity exceed the amount of money that governments spend to maintain parks, public investments in national parks could support local economic development while conserving biodiversity.

IDRA affiliates are designing and implementing a methodology to estimate the total direct and indirect impacts of visitors to protected areas in four countries on the gross domestic product (GDP), or income, around each park, as well as on poverty. This project is being carried out at Zambia’s Lower Zambezi and South Luangwa National Parks, Fiji’s Mamanuca Islands, Nepal’s Chitwan National Park, and Brazil’s Abrolhos Marine National Park.

The findings from this study are expected to be released at the end of 2020.

Funding Agency: The World Bank, Environment, Natural Resources, and Blue Economy and Global Wildlife Program

MI design