Trade-offs in nature tourism: contrasting parcel-level decisions withlandscape conservation planning
A landscape approach to conservation has increasingly taken prominence as scientists and policymakers consider the role of landscape patches and connectivities. However, understanding trade-offs in policy decisions and land management strategies in a landscape dominated by privately held patches presents a challenge. This study discusses trade-offs with the nature tourism industry in Monteverde, Costa Rica, considering effects across parcel-level decisions.
Research goals & methods
The study uses the efficiency frontier framework to explore the trade-offs associated with the nature tourism industry, an economic incentive for conservation, in Monteverde, Costa Rica. Regional changes in forest cover from 1985 through 2009, dates that coincide with the boom in the nature tourism industry, were modeled using logistic regression on a biomass change map. Interview data were used to understand the social context of these forest cover changes and the negotiation of trade-offs from the perspective of individual parcel owners. Trade-offs between ecosystem service benefits and income production are negotiated differently across parcels that are variably impacted by nature tourism and suggest the possible implications of these trade-offs for landscape conservation planning.
Conclusions & takeaways
The results suggest that nature tourism can provide a win-win conservation scenario on individual parcels in which livelihood opportunities coincide with forest regrowth. However, nature tourism has the potential to introduce market feedback that can both complicate livelihood sustainability and hinder multiple ecosystem service provisioning.
Trade-offs in nature tourism: contrasting parcel-level decisions with landscape conservation planning. Ecology and Society. 2015;20. doi:10.5751/es-07058-200121..
- University of Georgia