The Impacts of Wildlife Conservation Policies on Rural Household Welfare in Zambia

KEY POLICY POINTS • Tourism is increasingly important in Zambia as a vehicle for economic growth, and has been identified as a key sector for poverty reduction due to its potential to generate off-farm income and employment in rural areas. Growth in arrivals and receipts in Zambia has outpaced average growth rates for developing countries. • Tourism in Zambia relies mostly on the stock of natural resources, including the protected area system which includes national parks and game management areas (GMAs). Co-management agreements between Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) and rural communities present opportunities and threats for households living in GMAs. • Households living in GMAs have lower average income than households in other rural areas. Yet we find that, for prime GMAs (those well stocked with wildlife), the GMA designation leads to higher incomes than households would otherwise be expected to achieve, based on their own characteristics and those of the areas in which they reside. • We further find that the benefits of living in a prime GMA accrue mostly to the wealthier segments of the population. • Though overall effects on households are positive, losses from crop damage by wildlife are a threat to this success: we find that such losses are statistically significant, large enough to be meaningful to households, and greatest in prime GMAs

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Zambia Policy Synthesis

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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