Research Seminar Series: Exploring the role of economic incentives and spillover effects in biodiversity conservation policies in sub-Saharan Africa

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The Macroeconomics Policy, Forecasting and Research Department (ECMR) organized a seminar on “Exploring the role of economic incentives and spillover effects in biodiversity conservation policies in sub-Saharan Africa.”

The guest speaker was Dr Ariane Amin, environmental economist, lecturer and researcher at the University Felix Houphouet Boigny (UFHB). She  also serves as research associate at the Swiss Center for Scientific Research (Centre Suisse de Recherche Scientifique en Côte d’Ivoire - CSRS).

The 28 June seminar was attended by Bank staff as well as graduate students from the National School of Statistics and Applied Economics (Ecole Nationale de Statistique et d’Economie Appliquée – ENSEA) and doctoral students from UFHB.

It focused on factors that explain why a given country would dedicate resources to enhance conservation effort. This topic is all the more important as the global maintenance of biological diversity and ecosystem services will depend on conservation effort in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The study looked at the impact of biodiversity-targeted-international-transfers and tourism revenues on biodiversity conservation policies of 48 SSA countries, using simple linear model, and spatial econometric models that take into account spillover effects. Results show that international financial assistance as well as tourism have an effect on biodiversity conservation policymaking. The results also show some evidence for complementary spatial spillover effects between biodiversity conservation policies. Following the results, Dr Amin recommended reliance on economic incentives such as tourism outcomes, to influence the decisions of policy makers and encourage conservation policy from the top. Sub-Saharan African countries would also benefit from support through the provision of economic incentives such as international financial assistance. Moreover, since international diffusion mechanisms matter, they should be encouraged to be more involved in environmental agreements and treaties. Finally, regional cooperation in biodiversity conservation should be encouraged by implementing transboundary-protected areas, for example.

A series of exchanges between the audience and the lecturers helped to clarify the need to integrate biodiversity conservation in development issues

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