This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Factors Influencing Tropical Forest Conservation: Evidence from the W Reserve




Assogba, Noel Perceval

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Forestry and Wildlife Science


We analyzed the factors that influence tropical forest resource conservation using the W Reserve in West Africa as the case study. Specifically, we first characterized the forms of pressure faced by the Reserve from the population in the villages within its periphery. Second, we characterized the villages in the Reserve periphery based on their socioeconomic and institutional characteristics using cluster analysis. Third, we identified based on the villages characteristics, the factors that could explain its degradation using Poisson regression model, Negative Binomial Regression model, linear and non-linear Seemingly Unrelated Regression (SUR) model. Our result indicates that illegal cattle ranching is the most dominant form of pressure faced by the Reserve from the population in the villages within its periphery, and illegal logging the lowest form. Second, four types of villages were observed in the region with three discriminating factors, namely populations, number of non-governmental organizations promoting nature preservation, and average farm size. Third, three major factors that influence the Reserve’ degradation have been identified as socioeconomic characteristics, institutional organization, and the location of the villages. Particularly, the variables distance and average farm size in the villages were identified as the factors that influence illegal farming activities in the Reserve. Illegal cattle ranching activities were influenced by the number of non-governmental organizations, the distance, and the existence of checkpoints between the Reserve and the villages. Population and distance were identified as the factors that influence poaching activities while illegal logging was influenced only by the distance that separates the Reserve and the villages in its periphery.