Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

The Moore Center for Science at Conservation International is one of the world’s premier conservation research institutes, producing and applying groundbreaking and policy-relevant research to help decision-makers protect nature. To date, Conservation International has published more than 1,100 peer-reviewed articles, many in leading journals including Science, Nature and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

On average, each of our scientific papers is cited more than 45 times by other scholars — a rate exceeding that of any other U.S. conservation organization as well as leading universities.

Here is an archive of our most recent research.

Land-use and land-cover change shape the sustainability and impacts of protected areas

Anteneh T. Tesfaw, Alexander Pfaff, Rachel E. Golden Kroner, Siyu Qin, Rodrigo Medeiros, Michael B. Mascia

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

February 12, 2018

Protected areas (PAs) remain the dominant policy to protect biodiversity and ecosystem services but have been shown to have limited impact when development interests force them to locations with lower deforestation pressure. Far less known is that such interests also cause widespread tempering, reduction, or removal of protection [i.e., PA downgrading, downsizing, and degazettement (PADDD)]. We inform responses to PADDD by proposing and testing a bargaining explanation for PADDD risks and deforestation impacts. We examine recent degazettements for hydropower development and rural settlements in the state of Rondônia in the Brazilian Amazon. Results support two hypotheses: (i) ineffective PAs (i.e., those where internal deforestation was similar to nearby rates) were more likely to be degazetted and (ii) degazettement of ineffective PAs caused limited, if any, additional deforestation. We also report on cases in which ineffective portions were upgraded. Overall our results suggest that enhancing PAs' ecological impacts enhances their legal durability.

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CITATION

Tesfaw, A. T., Pfaff, A., Golden Kroner, R. E., Qin, S., Medeiros, R., & Mascia, M. B. (2018). Land-use and land-cover change shape the sustainability and impacts of protected areas. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(9), 2084–2089. doi:10.1073/pnas.1716462115

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