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The impact of farm household tourism operations on poverty reduction and conservation under the control policies of China’s protected areas

Authors
  • He, Dan1
  • Wang, Jingwen1
  • Liu, Xiang2
  • Shi, Xiaoliang1
  • Xu, Zhe1
  • Wang, Yang1
  • Qiu, Yingying1
  • Chen, Ke1
  • 1 Shenyang Agricultural University, Shenyang, Liaoning , (China)
  • 2 Forestry Service Center of Huanren County, Benxi , (China)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Frontiers in Environmental Science
Publisher
Frontiers Media SA
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2023
Volume
11
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3389/fenvs.2023.1294060
Source
Frontiers
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Environmental Science
  • Original Research
License
Green

Abstract

Against the global trend of increasing multiple participants involvement in protected areas management, the Chinese government has implemented a series of stricter policies since 2015. Tourism is an important alternative livelihood for farmers near protected areas. Based on survey data from 1,028 households in six protected areas, this study uses the propensity score matching (PSM) method to empirically examine the change effects of poverty reduction and conservation of farmers engaged in tourism under the influence of protected areas tourism management policies. The PSM method reduces sample self-selection bias and improves the accuracy of research conclusions. The findings reveal that irrespective of whether the areas are subjected to regulatory policies or not, tourism operations are significantly and inversely correlated with households’ multidimensional poverty index, and are notably positively correlated with their comprehensive conservation index. Consequently, tourism operations exhibit substantial poverty alleviation and protective effects. However, the current suite of protected areas control policies has curtailed the sustainable growth of tourism within these areas, resulting in 9.64% decrease in poverty alleviation effects and 10.33% decrease in protective effects derived from tourism operations. Despite their restrictive impacts on tourism, these policies have yielded some positive outcomes, fostering social equity within protected areas and catalyzing the transition from traditional livelihoods. Drawing upon these empirical findings, this study proposes recommendations and directions for fine-tuning China’s existing regulatory policies pertaining to tourism in protected areas.

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