Economic Tools for Protected Area Tourism in Brazil

The four day training on Economic and Financial Feasibility of Supporting Services for Visitation of Conservation Units (Unidades de Conservação - UCs) was hold at the Biodiversity National Academy (ACADEBio), in Iperó, Brazil.

The course was attended by twenty-two members of the ICMBio from nine different states in Brazil who are responsible for protected areas management, three employees of the ACADEBio and one entrepreneur from the community-based tourism sector in the Amazon state.

The goal of the course was to give participants an understanding of how to use economic tools to make decisions about developing tourism activities and allocating resources in the UCs.

The course consisted of lectures, experimental games and group exercises. First ICMBio started addressing the context of public use and businesses in UCs in Brazil. Then the basics of microeconomics and market theory were covered, followed by discussions related to market failures and externalities. The course continued with ecosystem services, how to value them and payment for environmental services (PES) schemes. Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) as applied to public use concessions in UCs that have public use was also covered. Several examples and case studies, related to UCs, were shown to illustrate these concepts. Finally, participants got a chance to put their knowledge into practice through a group exercise about the CBA of a concession in a UC. The course concluded with presentations of the results of this exercise.