Avoiding deforestation in Panamanian protected areas: An analysis of protection effectiveness and implications for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation

Avoiding deforestation in Panamanian protected areas: An analysis of protection effectiveness and implications for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation
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  This article appeared in a journal published by Elsevier. The attachedcopy is furnished to the author for internal non-commercial researchand education use, including for instruction at the authors institutionand sharing with colleagues.Other uses, including reproduction and distribution, or selling orlicensing copies, or posting to personal, institutional or third partywebsites are prohibited.In most cases authors are permitted to post their version of thearticle (e.g. in Word or Tex form) to their personal website orinstitutional repository. Authors requiring further informationregarding Elsevier’s archiving and manuscript policies areencouraged to visit:http://www.elsevier.com/copyright  Author's personal copy Avoiding deforestation in Panamanian protected areas: An analysis of protectioneffectiveness and implications for reducing emissions from deforestation andforest degradation  Jordan S. Oestreicher a, *, Karina Benessaiah c,1 , Maria C. Ruiz-Jaen b,h,1 , Sean Sloan d , Kate Turner e , Johanne Pelletier b , Bruno Guay f  , Kathryn E. Clark g,h , Dominique G. Roche b,h ,Manfred Meiners i , Catherine Potvin b,h a DepartmentofBioresourceEngineering,McGillUniversity,MacDonaldCampus,Macdonald-StewartBuilding,21111LakeshoreRoad,Ste.AnnedeBellevue,Que´ bec,CanadaH9X3V9 b Department of Biology, McGill University, 1205 Docteur Penfield, Montre´ al, Que´ bec, Canada H3A 1B1 c Department of Geography, McGill University, 805 Sherbrooke St. W., Montre´ al, Que´ bec, Canada H3A 2K6  d Department of Resource Management and Geography, The University of Melbourne, 500 Yarra Boulevard, Richmond, Victoria, 3121, Australia e Ontario Ministry of the Environment, 2 St. Clair West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4V 1L5 f  Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Environment Directorate, 2 Rue Andre´  Pascal, 75775, Paris Cedex 16, France g Department of Plant Science, McGill University, MacDonald Campus, Macdonald-Stewart Building, 21111 Lakeshore Road, Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Que´ bec, Canada H9X 3V9 h Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), Apartado 0843-03092, Balboa, Ancon, Panama, Panama i RARE, Mar Caspio 2130 Interior 24, Col. Country Club, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Me´  xico, C.P. 45010, Mexico 1. Introduction: avoiding deforestation and protected areas Inthelastdecade,climatechangemitigationhasreceivedmuchinternational recognition, most notably with the implementationof the Kyoto Protocol under the United Nations FrameworkConventiononClimateChange(UNFCCC).Deforestation,occurringprimarily in tropical forests, is a prevalent and, until recently,overlooked source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, accountingfor up to one-third of global emissions (Houghton, 2005). In 2005at the 11th Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 11), PapuaNew Guinea and Costa Rica pushed for the establishment of amechanism to address deforestation. Such a mechanism, eithermarket-based or fund-based, would constitute a relativelyinexpensive means to reduce non-energy sector GHG emissionsand to encourage broader participation in climate changemitigation by generally poorer forest-endowed non-Annex IUNFCCC states (Luttrel et al., 2007; Stern, 2007; Forner et al.,2006; Santilli et al., 2005).Reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation(REDD) was a hot topic at COP 13 in Bali in December 2007 and inCOP14inPoznaninDecember2008andislikelytobecentraltoapost-2012 climate agreement (Skutsch and Trines, 2008).Notwithstanding the enthusiasm surrounding the prospect of such a scheme, no substantial movement has been made on thedetails of the REDD mechanism(s) to be adopted (Skutsch andTrines, 2008);thus,uncertainty relating to the architecture of themechanism remains. Decisions need to be made regarding the Global Environmental Change 19 (2009) 279–291 A R T I C L E I N F O  Article history: Received 29 September 2007 Received in revised form 19 November 2008 Accepted 16 January 2009 Keywords: Tropical deforestationProtected areasPanamaLand-cover changeNatural resource management A B S T R A C T Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) is likely to becentraltoapost-Kyotoclimatechangemitigationagreement.Assuch,identifyingconditionsandfactorsthat will shape the success or failure of a reduced deforestation scheme will provide important insightsforpolicyplanning.Giventhatprotectedareas(PAs)areacornerstoneinforestconservation,wedrawoninterviews and secondary data to analyze the effects of available PA resources, governance ability, thelevel of community involvement, and provincial deforestation rates on land-cover change in nine PAs inPanama. Our results illustrate that coupling surveillance measures with greater funding and stronggovernance are paramount to reducing deforestation. Alone, however, these factors are insufficient forforest protection. We argue that conservation approaches that complement effective surveillance withcommunity participation and equitable benefit sharing will address the wider issues of leakage andpermanence.   2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. * Correspondingauthorat:Universite´ duQue´beca` Montre´al(UQAM),Institutdessciences de l’environnement (ISE), C.P. 8888, Succ. Centre-Ville, Montre´al, Que´bec,Canada H3C 3P8. Tel.: +1 514 987 3000x2061. E-mail address:  jordan.oestreicher@mail.mcgill.ca (J.S. Oestreicher). 1 Please note that these two authors have contributed equally to theadvancement of this project. Contents lists available at ScienceDirect Global Environmental Change journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/gloenvcha 0959-3780/$ – see front matter    2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2009.01.003  Author's personal copy nature of carbon buyers (industrialized countries, companies,organizations, individuals) and sellers (national or sub-nationalgovernment, private projects), the mode of financing (market ornon-market), the compensation scheme (government regulatedordirectflowtodeforestationstakeholders),aswellasthetypeof land use targeted (pristine forests or degraded lands) (Skutschand Trines, 2008). The specifics of a REDD mechanism, expectedto be readdressed before or at COP 15 in December 2009, willneed to be critically assessed if REDD is to be effectivelyimplemented.A number of environmental policy instruments such assustainable forest management and forestry certification, pay-ment for ecosystem services, fiscal and trade policies, and thedesignation of protected areas (PAs) have been used to counterdeforestation threats in the context of biodiversity conservation(Wunder, 2005). PAs have been particularly central to forestconservation efforts (UNEP and WCMC, 2008; Sa ´nchez-Azofeifaet al., 2003); yet with additionality being a fundamentalstipulation of climate change mitigation projects, it remainsuncertainastowhetherpreviouslyestablishedPAswillbeeligiblefor REDD (Skutsch and Trines, 2008). Additionality refers to carbon emission reductions that would be in excess of those thatare all ready in place. For several tropical nations, much of theremaining intact forests are bound up in PAs or other derivativesthereof; thus PAs, if accepted for REDD, could play a key role instate-led initiatives by committing forests as carbon reservoirs(Forner et al., 2006).Before engaging in an international REDD agreement, tropicalforest nations will need to evaluate their ability to curbdeforestation, pinpoint factors that will guarantee permanence –the sustained and effective protection of forest carbon – anddevelop strategies to circumvent leakage – the displacement of deforestation to relatively unprotected areas. A nation’s ability toavoid deforestation within its PAs could be used as a good primarygauge of the country’s capacity to protect forest biomass under aREDD scheme.We use Panama as a case study to investigate the effectivenessof PAs at conserving forest integrity. If these PAs are performingwell, implementation of a REDD agenda could promote their useand increasetheprominenceof PAs withina suit of tools to reduceGHG emissions. If they are failing to avoid deforestation, ananalysis of the factors and the underlying dynamics driving thesefailures will identify strategies most likely to contribute toeffectiveforestcarbonconservation.Consistentwiththeobjectivesof REDD, we define PA ‘‘effectiveness’’ as the maintenance and/orthe increment of mature forest cover within PA boundaries. WedrawoninterviewdatarelatingtoavailablePAresourcesaswellasindicators of PA governance and community–PA rapport toevaluate the effectiveness of nine Panamanian PAs (Fig. 1). Thethree categories used in this study represent the main theoreticalpillars of protection capacity: resources (staff, funds, and infra-structure), governance (political support, legislation, and manage-ment design) and community rapport (awareness and support)(Hockings et al., 2006). 2 2. Case study context: protected areas and managementapproaches in Panama Effective PA protection is seldom easy for industrializingstates,especially when faced with extreme poverty, growing populationsdependent on agriculture, limited financial resources, corruptionand oftentimes political instability and conflict (Naughton-Trevesetal.,2005).InPanama,conservationeffortsoccurwithinacontextof unequal arable land distribution (Contralorı´a, 2003), rapid ruralpopulation growth and poverty, laws that afford land titles viaforest clearing and the existence of vast tracts of unprotectedforests (ANAM, 2003a). Such contexts not only restrict the state’scapacity to effectively protect but also contribute to deforestation(Peskett et al., 2006; Lambin et al., 2003; Geist and Lambin, 2001).Such circumstances can explain the fragility of many establishedandnewlyformedPAsthatareunabletolimitdeforestationwithintheir boundaries.Historically, Panama’s PA management strategies worked tocounter the anthropogenic pressures exerted on ecosystems byapplying top-down, ‘command and control’ measures—an oftencoercive, state-lead approach to protection that maintainsecological integrity at the expense of local resource use.While this model has been effective under certain conditions(the United States National Park System for example), theexclusionary ideology upon which ‘command and control’ isbased has been rebuked for failing to address many of theunderlying causal factors of environmental degradation intropical industrializing areas (Lambin et al., 2003; Geist andLambin, 2001). Consequentially, top-down resource manage-ment has been linked to marginalizing poor populations andexacerbating natural resource depletion (UNEP and WCMC,2008; Griffiths, 2007; Luttrel et al., 2007; Peskett et al., 2006;Wunder, 2005).Faced with these realities, Panama has begun to move awayfrom the ‘command and control’ model and adopt alternativecommunity-based conservation approaches. This school of conservation philosophy is founded upon devolution of PAmanagement and some level of relinquishment of state authorityto actors at the local scale (communities and/or non-govern-mental organizations (NGOs)) (Vedeld, 1996). These programscan be structured in a variety of formats to offer participatingcommunities indirect benefits from conservation, such as landownership rights, market access, infrastructure, social andtechnological capital, etc. With these benefits in mind, somecommunity-based models work to explicitly merge their man-dates with ‘green’ development strategies to serve some of theoverlapping interests of both development and conservationprograms.While community-based PA protection approaches reducethe social costs of conservation (Igoe, 2004; Brockington, 2002), conflicting conclusions are still being drawn as to whichmanagement strategy (top-down versus bottom-up) can bestachieve conservation goals (Hayes and Ostrom, 2005; Lockeand Dearden, 2005; Putz et al., 2001; Rice et al., 1997). Forexample, Bruner et al. (2001) finds PA effectiveness in tropicalregions to be significantly related to enforcement measures, butnot community participation. In direct response to thesefindings, however, Hayes (2006) offers evidence to argue thatcommunity-managed PAs are equally if not more effectivethan centralized, traditionally managed PAs. Because commu-nity-based approaches may better address the pressures under-lying deforestation than a ‘command and control’ model, theyoffer the prospect of offsetting the threat of leakage whenestablishing measures to produce GHG emissions’ credits underREDD.Panama is currently working to apply a new conceptualconservation paradigm: payment for ecosystem services. Therationale behind this approach lies in the creation of economicincentives for conservation and, as in the case of ecotourism, thegeneration of alternative livelihood options to forest-dependentcommunities (Wunder, 2005; Gossling, 1999; Ruschmann,1992). 2 Hockingsandcolleagues(2006)definethesefactorsasthebasisforthecapacitytoeffectivelymanagePAs.UnderREDD,forestconservationwouldbeaprincipalPAmanagement objective, thus we use their criteria as a benchmark to study thecapacity to protect.  J.S. Oestreicher et al./Global Environmental Change 19 (2009) 279–291 280  Author's personal copy 3. Methods  3.1. Interviews PAs in Panama depend on a variety of entities to supportconservation efforts. The National Environmental Authority(ANAM) is the main funding and administrative institution forPAs, however direct and indirect additional support is sometimesprovidedbyaidagenciesandnationalandinternationalNGOs.Thenational police force exclusively maintains the authority to issuefines and jail time for infractions and illegal activities in PAs.Semi-structuredinterviewswithsomeofthesePAstakeholderswerecarriedoutinfourPAs–SanLorenzo,Soberanı´a,Chagres,andAltos de Campana (Fig. 1 and Table 1) – using open ended, single Fig. 1.  The Republic of Panama. All legally recognized protected areas in Panama are demarcated. The solid fill pattern indicates the nine PAs considered in this study; theircorrespondingnamesareinbold.AllotherPAsaredenotedbytheforwardslashpattern.Provincialboundariesareindicatedandnamesareinitalics.Circlesrepresentthetwomain urban centers of the metropolitan region. It should be noted that La Amistad is an international park, shared with Costa Rica, and that Darie´n is contiguous with theKatios National Park of Colombia. Most of Panama’s unprotected forests are found in the province of Darie´n and along the Atlantic coast.  Table 1 Interviews carried out in nine protected areas. The position and number of ANAM staff interviewed is indicated. In some protected areas, supplementary interviews werecarried with organizations involved in the park: El Centro de Estudios y Accio´n Social Panamen˜o (CEASPA), a national NGO with sustainable development objectives; TheNature Conservancy (TNC); The Interoceanic Region Authority (ARI), which patrols a former US-military base in San Lorenzo where unexploded ordnance still exist; TheSmithsonianTropicalResearchInstitute(STRI),aninstitutionthatcollaborateswithPAsonbiodiversityandconservationresearchinPanama;FondoChagres,acooperativelymanaged fund for the conservation of Chagres; Fundacio´n NATURA, an international NGO that financially and logistically supports ANAM conservation programs; and thenational police (NP).Protected area ANAM interviews Supplementary interviewsAltos de Campana 3 guards Peace Corp regional director, STRI researcherSan Lorenzo 3 guards CEASPA director, 2 ARI guard staff Volca´n Baru´ 1 administratorSoberanı´a 3 guards STRI researcher, Fundacio´n NATURA representativeCerro Hoya 1 administratorChagres 2 guards, 1 administrator Fondo Chagres director, TNC representative, 2 members of the NPPalo Seco 1 administratorLa Amistad 1 administratorDarie´n 1 administratorTotal 17 11  J.S. Oestreicher et al./Global Environmental Change 19 (2009) 279–291  281  Author's personal copy answer, and multiple choice formatted questions. These PAs werechosen for their accessibility. Interviews were exploratory innature, designed to gain a thorough understanding of the PAmanagement structure, governance, roles and responsibilities of stakeholders, community–PA relations, deforestation threats, andresources necessary for effective protection.ANAM representatives from five additional PAs – Volca´n Baru´,LaAmistad,Darie´n,CerroHoya,andPaloSeco(Fig.1andTable1)– were interviewed using a structured format. Questions focused onavailable and deficient resources, necessities for effective protec-tion, deforestation threats and local community relations with thePA. When available, secondary data from PA management plansand physical maps were used to complement interviews.In total, twenty-eight interviews were carried out in nine PAs(Table 1), representing about 43% of terrestrial PAs in Panama. Inan effort to triangulate the qualitative data-collection procedures,interview data was cross-referenced with secondary data whenpossible. We do nonetheless acknowledge that the interview datais ultimately subjective; however it was the most cost-effectiveand, often times, the only available source of information.Moreover, PA stakeholders that work directly in PAs are likelyto have a clear understanding of resource deficiencies, require-ments to improve protection and prevailing issues in their PAs, anassumption corroborated, for example, by the strong agreementbetweenreportedandpublishednumbersofguards(MNRE,2005).  3.2. Defining protected area resources From the interview data we defined the following five generalresource categories and quantified their values and distributionacross the nine PAs: (1) personnel; (2) transportation; (3)infrastructure; (4) NGOs; and (5) funding. Where informants gavevaryingresponsesforthenumberofresources(e.g.,personnel),weused the median value. Although other resources also support PAprotection (e.g., information, computers, radios, telephones,training and education, etc.), we restricted our analysis toresources that were easily quantified and that make up the coreof the basic protection framework. The following section brieflydetails each resource category.ANAM personnel(guard and administrative) were documentedfor each PA. Although the national police and the InteroceanicRegion Authority (see Table 1) do participate in PA vigilance, theirstaff numbers and rotation schedules were not available and weretherefore not included.Transportation available for patrolling and other official dutieswas documented detailing the number of functional trucks,motorcycles and boats (including dugout canoes or other rivertransportation).The infrastructure estimate for each PA included the number of roads, trails and bases. Bases were defined as any post whereguards are able to rest during patrols. Tourist offices were notincluded because they do not directly support protection efforts.OnlyNGOswithaphysicalpresenceinthePAwerecountedandnot those that contribute indirectly through logistical, technicaland financial support.Funding was divided between internal (state) and externalsources.WhilefinancialresourcesissuedbyANAMprovidethebulkof PA staff salaries and finances for infrastructure and equipment,PAs may also receive external funding donations from national andforeign organizations. The total external and state funding for eachPA was adapted from MNRE (2005) for the 2005 fiscal year.  3.3. Defining PA governance and community rapport  Resources are just one node in a complex web of factors thatinfluence PA effectiveness. We therefore include two indicatorsvariables taken from a global study of PA management effective-ness in Panama (ANAM, 2001) to integrate the social and politicaldimensionsofeffectivenessintotheanalysis.Intheirstudy,ANAM(2001) used a system of indicators developed by PROARCA/CAPAS(2000) to rank PAs according to the following criteria: (1) socialcapacity: stakeholders recognition, participation and benefitsharing, conflict resolution ability, land-title status in and aroundthe PA, environmental education, ecotourism management; and(2) governance capacity: PA legal status and legislative imple-mentation, administrative and technical staff decentralization,inter-institutional relations.  3.4. Land-cover change and threats estimates Satellite-derived estimates of land-cover change for the period1992–2000(ANAM,2003a)were usedto estimateforest cover andagricultural change in Panamanian PAs. Forest cover changeestimates have a ground resolution of 30 m (Landsat TM satelliteimagery used by ANAM (2003a)), with the exception of that forPalo Seco. For Palo Seco, land-cover change was estimated at a100 m resolution by comparing the 1992 and 2000 maps of  ANAM(2003a) with the PA boundaries defined by The ANAM Environ-mental Indicators Project (ANAM, 2006c). We defined land-covercategories as follows: (1) mature forest cover is primary andmature secondaryforestwithcanopy closuregreaterthan80%;(2)transitioning land-cover includes pioneer forest growth, grasses,shrubs and forests with more than 60% of their canopy altered byhuman activities; (3) agriculture is land used for subsistenceagriculture and other agricultural activities including pastures forlivestock grazing.PA effectiveness is in part a function of the external pressuresexerted on a PA. Regardless of the capacity to protect separateforest stands, PAs in areas where threats are significant ormounting have a higher deforestation risk than their relativelyunthreatened counterparts. We therefore use average annualprovincialdeforestationratesfrom1992to2000(ANAM,2003a)asanindicatorofpressuresbeyondPAsandtomakeinferencesaboutthe externalities of PA protection. In cases where PAs crossprovincial boundaries, the median provincial deforestation ratewas used. The role of agriculture within PAs can either bethreatening as agricultural lands expand into forests or beneficialby allowing local communities to make a livelihoods withoutoverexploiting the adjacent forest. In Panama, agriculture withinPAs is mainly at the subsistence level. Regardless of the potentialoutcome,PAswithagriculturallandsareatahigherriskthanforestwith no agriculture nearby. We therefore consider agriculturewithin a PA as an indicator of pressure on a PA’s effectiveness.  3.5. Qualitative comparative analyses We undertook qualitative comparative analyses (QCA) todetermine the conditions contributing to effective PA protection.QCAisasmall-sampleanalysisthatusescross-casecomparisonstoreduce causal complexity into a minimal set of conditionsnecessary for an outcome (Rihoux, 2006). QCA uses Boolean logicto maximize the number of permutations of conditions (to 2 [# of conditions] ) across a limited sample and infer  conjoint   causationbetweenconditionsandtheoutcome,thatis,causationofaspecific set   of conditions acting collectively and interactively on theoutcome. Causation is inferred not merely by the consistentpresence of a condition relative to an outcome but also by itsabsence, across all possible permutations of conditions (Rihoux,2006). Therefore, QCA validates the role of a condition throughnegative-case analysis, highlights interaction between conditionsand recognizes‘absence’asacausativefactor. Theincorporationof counterfactual cases – combinations of conditions for which  J.S. Oestreicher et al./Global Environmental Change 19 (2009) 279–291 282
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