Sanctioned Quotas vs Information Provisioning for Community Wildlife Conservation in Zimbabwe: A Framed Field Experiment Approach

Local communities in Africa benefit from protected areas through a number of activities such as grazing their livestock and revenues gained from touristic activities. These two activities are not independent because the feeding habits of large herbivores such as elephants prevent bush encroachment thus maintaining healthy grasslands.. In addition, the way the local community manages the elephants can substantially influence their reproduction. Both the grasslands which provides pastures for their livestock and elephants could substantially and drastically deteriorate due to poor management. If the elephant population drops too low, it would become harder for them to reproduce. Too few elephants would then result in bush encroachment seriously preventing domestic animals from grazing. This development can result in permanent changes from an elephant-rich grassland to an elephant-poor bushy area, which holds much fewer ecosystem services for the local community. Would the community spontaneously succeed in maintaining the elephant stock and grassland quality at a satisfying level or not? What kind of policy intervention would help reach the desired outcome? Should the authorities inform the community about these dynamics? Should they instead introduce a quota, a lower limit for the elephant stock that if trespassed would be sanctioned with punishment in the form of a fine to pay?

Research Brief 184
1 April 2019
16 April 2019
Publication Type: Policy Brief

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