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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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Year : 2003  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 209-222

Local Uses of Parks: Uncovering Patterns of Household Production from Forests of Siberut, Indonesia

1 Health, Social and Economics Research Unit, RTI International, 3040 Cornwallis Road, RTP, NC 27709-2194, USA
2 Department of Forestry, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
3 Economics and Business Analysis Division, Booze Allen and Hamilton, 8283 Greensboro Drive, McLean, VA 22102, USA
4 Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0328, USA

Correspondence Address:
Subhrendu K Pattanayak
Health, Social and Economics Research Unit, RTI International, 3040 Cornwallis Road, RTP, NC 27709-2194
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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This study empirically investigates how tropical forests contribute to rural economies by using household survey data to understand patterns of local forest use on Siberut, Indonesia. We use household production theory to build a model of forest products collected on Siberut as a function of labour, tools, forest condition and household classes. Five forest products-rattan, sago, and wood for construction, carpentry and fuel-are combined into a composite forest product using market prices as weights. Four classes of households are identified through cluster analysis of assets, including land, livestock, productive equipment and consumer durables. The parameters of the estimated forest production functions are consistent with underlying theory and statistically significant. Labour allocated to forest product collection has the greatest overall influence. In turn, labour allocation is significantly influenced by household composition and socio-economic factors. We also find that forest quality is negatively correlated with forest product collection. All things considered, the wealthiest households collect the least amount of forest products, and the mid-wealth households invest the most labour in collection. We discuss how the estimated parameters can help us identify potential areas of concern, suggest policy levers, understand heterogeneity in local interests and predict responses to park policies.

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