Importance of Economics, Conservation Laws, and Law Enforcement Concerning Deforestation of the Costa Rican Tropical Rainforest
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Mann - Thesis - May 2015_CE.pdf
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The rainforest is a necessary natural resource. There are several plant and animal species we have not yet discovered that may live there, but we may never discover them if the rainforest continues to disappear; which would inhibit the potential of maximizing the scientific value of the rainforest. Conservation and environmental laws focusing on the rainforest provide protection of the whole rainforest and the organisms within them. This study addresses the question whether decreasing deforestation rates are driven by economics or by conservation law enforcement. This study evaluated the rates of deforestation, the effects on the economy in Costa Rica, performed a cost-benefit analysis, and researched the punishments for violating the laws and policies. I also evaluated some sociological theories and criminal justice theories to analyze socially what is occurring in Costa Rica. The results are the hypothesis, which states if decreasing deforestation rates over time are economically driven, then a negative correlation between revenue and deforestation rates is to be expected is supported by the data. This hypothesis is supported by the data in this study. Also, the hypothesis, which states if deforestation rates are decreasing over time is driven by law enforcement, then a negative correlation between law enforcement and deforestation rates is not supported by the current data available. The rate of deforestation has slowly been decreasing over time, which can indicate that Costa Rica is turning to a new chapter in its history. This study has the potential to be able to help Costa Rica improve their conservation efforts in the future, so they can better preserve and conserve their natural resources and improve the state of their economy.