Effectiveness of strict vs. multiple use protected areas in reducing tropical forest fires: A global analysis using matching methods

Protected areas (PAs) cover a quarter of the tropical forest estate. Yet there is debate over the effectiveness of PAs in reducing deforestation, especially when local people have rights to use the forest. A key analytic problem is the likely placement of PAs on marginal lands with low pressure for deforestation, biasing comparisons between protected and unprotected areas. Using matching techniques to control for this bias, this paper analyzes the global tropical forest biome using forest fires as a high resolution proxy for deforestation; disaggregates impacts by remoteness, a proxy for deforestation pressure; and compares strictly protected vs. multiple use PAs vs indigenous areas.