Screen Shot 2016-09-01 at 11.23.57

Nature threads the very fabric of human lives in remote forest areas of developing countries. Unfortunately, we do not fully understand how ecosystem services (such as human health benefits) could be secured by conserving natural capital. Thus, we analyze a rich dataset on disease, climate, demography, land uses, and conservation policies in the Brazilian Amazon. Unsurprisingly, we find that the health dividends vary across conservation policies and are small relative to the overall burden of these diseases. However, interventions targeted specifically at preserving biodiversity (strict protected areas) generate health co-benefits. Thus, given a chance, nature does its part for human (health) capital, especially for the poor and politically voiceless.

Nature threads the very fabric of human lives in remote forest areas of developing countries. Unfortunately, we do not fully understand how ecosystem services (such as human health benefits) could be secured by conserving natural capital. Thus, we analyze a rich dataset on disease, climate, demography, land uses, and conservation policies in the Brazilian Amazon. Unsurprisingly, we find that the health dividends vary across conservation policies and are small relative to the overall burden of these diseases. However, interventions targeted specifically at preserving biodiversity (strict protected areas) generate health co-benefits. Thus, given a chance, nature does its part for human (health) capital, especially for the poor and politically voiceless.

Read the report here.