Fuelwood collection is one of the main human activities threatening giant pandas’ habitats. The main purpose of this paper is to analyze the determinants of fuelwood consumption by households inside and around China’s panda nature reserves. Finding these determinants is not only useful in understanding energy consumption behavior, but also for creating more effective policy to protect giant pandas’ habitats. We conducted a questionnaire survey in the Qinling mountain areas of Shaanxi province; 187 effective questionnaires from 16 villages in five nature reserves were collected and analyzed using a Tobit model. The results show that the average fuelwood consumption per household around panda nature reserves was 1.22 t in year 2017, and that there was no significant difference in fuelwood consumption between households inside or outside the nature reserves. Apart from household income, both the number of household members and ownership of energy-saving stoves show significant effects on fuelwood consumption. We conclude that the establishment of these nature reserves has not contributed towards decreasing fuelwood consumption inside the nature reserves, but it has transferred the harvesting location for fuelwood from inside the nature reserve to the outside. Since the increase in household income can significantly reduce the fuelwood consumption, policymakers should focus on how to increase rural household incomes to decrease fuelwood consumption. However, providing rural households around nature reserves with energy-saving stoves tends not to be an effective measure for reducing the fuelwood consumption.
Journal of Forest Economics, Volume 36, Issue 1-2 Special issue - Nature Conservation: Articles Overiew
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