Conservation and conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo: The impacts of warfare, mining, and protected areas on deforestation

Conservation and conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo: The impacts of warfare, mining,... Tropical forests provide critical ecosystem services worldwide. Nonetheless, ongoing agricultural expansion, timber extraction, and mining continue to jeopardize important forest resources. In addition, many tropical forests reside in countries that have experienced violent conflict in recent decades, posing an additional, yet poorly understood threat. Conflict may decrease or increase deforestation depending on the relationship between conflict and other causes of land use change, such as mining expansion or protected area establishment. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), home of the second largest tropical forest in the world, has experienced 20years of violent conflict, resulting in the death of over 100,000 combatants and up to 5 million civilians. Expanding mining concessions also threaten the DRC's forest, even though nearly 12% of it is under some form of protection. In this study, we used spatially-explicit data on conflict, mining, and protected areas, along with a host of control variables, to estimate the impacts of these factors on forest cover loss from 1990 to 2010. Through a panel instrumental variables approach we found that: i) conflict increased forest cover loss, ii) mining concessions increased forest cover loss, but in times of conflict this impact was lessened, and iii) protected areas reduced forest cover loss, even in high conflict regions. Our results thus suggest that policy interventions designed to reduce violent conflict may have the co-benefit of reducing deforestation, especially in areas with low mining potential. Likewise, protected areas can be effective even in times of war. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biological Conservation Elsevier

Conservation and conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo: The impacts of warfare, mining, and protected areas on deforestation

Loading next page...
 
/lp/elsevier/conservation-and-conflict-in-the-democratic-republic-of-congo-the-RPNHrshE0x
Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V.
ISSN
0006-3207
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.biocon.2015.06.037
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Tropical forests provide critical ecosystem services worldwide. Nonetheless, ongoing agricultural expansion, timber extraction, and mining continue to jeopardize important forest resources. In addition, many tropical forests reside in countries that have experienced violent conflict in recent decades, posing an additional, yet poorly understood threat. Conflict may decrease or increase deforestation depending on the relationship between conflict and other causes of land use change, such as mining expansion or protected area establishment. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), home of the second largest tropical forest in the world, has experienced 20years of violent conflict, resulting in the death of over 100,000 combatants and up to 5 million civilians. Expanding mining concessions also threaten the DRC's forest, even though nearly 12% of it is under some form of protection. In this study, we used spatially-explicit data on conflict, mining, and protected areas, along with a host of control variables, to estimate the impacts of these factors on forest cover loss from 1990 to 2010. Through a panel instrumental variables approach we found that: i) conflict increased forest cover loss, ii) mining concessions increased forest cover loss, but in times of conflict this impact was lessened, and iii) protected areas reduced forest cover loss, even in high conflict regions. Our results thus suggest that policy interventions designed to reduce violent conflict may have the co-benefit of reducing deforestation, especially in areas with low mining potential. Likewise, protected areas can be effective even in times of war.

Journal

Biological ConservationElsevier

Published: Nov 1, 2015

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create lists to
organize your research

Export lists, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off