Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2020Peer reviewedOpen access

Pay, talk or 'whip' to conserve forests: Framed field experiments in Zambia

Ngoma, Hambulo; Hailu, Amare Teklay; Kabwe, Stephen; Angelsen, Arild


Despite many efforts to conserve tropical forests, high rates of deforestation and forest degradation continue, threatening the products and environmental services they supply. We conducted framed field experiments (FFEs) in Zambia to test, ex-ante, the impacts of different conservation policies: community forest management (CFM), command and control (CAC), and two versions of payments for environmental services (PES). Our FFEs mimicked how local dwellers use forests in real life. Relative to open access (OA), PES to individuals reduced harvest by 15 percentage points (pp) while CFM reduced harvest rates by 8 pp. We conjecture that free and easy-riding, combined with uncertainty on how others will reciprocate, dampens the positive effects of group-based PES. Impatience and risk-loving among participants significantly increased harvest rates while pro-social behavior (altruism) was associated with more pro-conservation. We conclude that conservation outcomes might be achieved by combinations of CFM and individual PES, by which individual households receive clear material benefits that compensate for their reduced forest use. (C) 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Framed field experiments; Community forest management; Command and control; Payment for environmental services; Zambia

Published in

World Development
2020, Volume: 128, article number: 104846

      SLU Authors

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG12 Responsible consumption and production
    SDG15 Life on land

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)