Impact of Nature Reserves on Human Well-being – Evidence from Giant Panda Reserves in China
Shen J., Hogarth N.J., Hou Y., and Duan W. (2021).
Journal of Forest Economics: Vol. 36: No. 1-2, pp 79-101. http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/112.00000526
Abstract: The potential impact of nature reserves (NRs) on human well-being has been widely debated, while the results are still uncertain due to methodological challenges, data limitations, and underdeveloped theoretical framework. This study uses a seemingly unrelated regression (SUR) model to assess giant panda reserves’ impacts on human well-being. Using cross-sectional data of 714 households from both inside and outside of 14 giant panda reserves in Shaanxi and Sichuan provinces, we examined the impact of NRs on five dimensions of human well-being. Findings suggest that overall human well-being and the sub-dimensions of basic material for a good life, good social relations, and the freedom of choice wellbeing are significantly higher for households living outside panda reserves than those living inside. In contrast, security was higher for households inside the reserves compared to outside. The results also indicate that households living inside the national-level NRs are significantly more satisfied with their basic material for good life and security than those living outside of national-level NRs. Furthermore, the negative impacts of the NRs on human well-being are relieved as the time since establishment increase.
This paper is an output of the VITRI project: The impact of habitat regulatory policies on ecological protections and rural livelihoods: The case of giant panda protected areas in China https://blogs.helsinki.fi/vitriblog/research-projects/projects/giant-panda-habitat-conservation-and-livelihood/