Implementation of Environmental Policies in Developing Countries

A Case of Protected Areas and Tourism in Brazil

By José Antonio Puppim de Oliveira

Subjects: Public Policy
Series: SUNY series in Global Environmental Policy
Paperback : 9780791473269, 150 pages, January 2009
Hardcover : 9780791473252, 150 pages, February 2008

Table of contents

List of Tables
List of Figures
List of Abbreviations

1. Introduction
1. 1 The Case Study
1. 2 Arguments in Brief

2. The Implementation of Environmental Policies in Developing Countries
2. 1 The Dual Mandate of Governments
2. 2 Organizing the State: Centralization versus Decentralization
2. 3 Implementing Public Policies
2. 4 Implementing Environmental Policy in Developing Countries

3. Obstacles to Policy Implementation in the Creation of Protected Areas
3. 1 A Short History of the Evolution of the Concept of Protected Areas
3. 2 Categories of Protected Areas
3. 3 Costs and Benefits of Protected Areas
3. 4 The Framework for Explaining Failed Efforts to Establish Protected Areas
3. 4.1 Lack of Political Support
3. 4.2 Lack of Funding for Protected Areas
3. 4.3 Lack of Institutional Capacity
3. 4.4 Lack of Cooperation and Coordination at the Local Level
3. 5 Tourism as a Force for Establishing Protected Areas
3. 6 Protected Areas in Brazil
3. 6.1 Evolution of Environmental Institutions in the Brazilian State
3. 6.2 Evolution of Protected Areas in Brazil

4 Overcoming the Obstacles for Policy Implementation: The Case of the Establishment of Protected Areas in Bahia
4. 1 Introduction
4. 2 The Background of Bahia and Tourism Development
4. 2.1 State Tourism Development Program
4. 3 Understanding Environmental Policy and APAs in Brazil and Bahia
4. 4 Evolution of Environmental Management in Bahia and the Outcome: The Creation of APAs
4. 5 Establishment of Protected Areas in Bahia: Obtaining Political, Institutional, and Financial Support
4. 5.1 Getting Political Support at the State Level from Pro-Development Actors
4. 5.2 Funding APAs by Involving Nonenvironmental Agencies
4. 5.3 Competition among Governmental Agencies can Improve Institutional Capacity
4. 5.4 Getting Local Support: APAs as Potential Investment Magnets
4. 6 The “Bahian Model”: Horizontal Decentralization with Checks and Balances

5. Lessons for Policy Studies
5. 1 Learning from the Research: A New Framework of Analysis
5. 1.1 Learning from the Case: How to Overcome the Four Obstacles
5. 2 Lessons for the Classical Policy Implementation Literature
5. 3 Integrating Economic Development and Environmental Protection in the Public Sector
5. 4 Horizontal Decentralization for Policy Implementation: Incentives with Checks and Balances
5. 4.1 Decentralization without Much Coordination But with Checks and Balances
5. 4.2 The Forgotten Type of Decentralization: HorizontalDecentralization
5. 5 The Role of Local Actors and Central Governments in Decentralized Policy Implementation
5. 6 Learning the Tough Reality of the Development Process
5. 7 A New Role for Environmental Agencies?


Uses Brazil as a case study of how governments implement environmental policies despite urgent needs for economic development.


Environmental policy implementation in developing countries faces a number of institutional obstacles. Using the case of protected areas and tourism development in the state of Bahia in northeastern Brazil, Jose Antonio Puppim de Oliveira explores how economic development interests tend to have a higher priority on most governments' agendas in developing countries. Government agencies often fail to implement environmental protection policies mainly because they lack political support, have insufficient resources, have underdeveloped institutional capacity, and tend to overlook the importance of cooperation at the local level. Puppim de Oliveira explains how this trend may be reversed by decentralizing policy implementation into the hands of development-oriented agencies. To make the process work, central authorities should offer incentives to ensure increased attention to environmental protection objectives in the development process. At the same time, an independent body with oversight authority should be in place to prevent development agencies from neglecting environmental concerns.

Jose Antonio Puppim de Oliveira is Associate Professor at the Brazilian School of Public and Business Administration, Getulio Vargas Foundation in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


"In the clarity and precision of its arguments, this is an exemplary text. " — Environmental Conservation

"Puppim de Oliveira brings the best of the Bahia environment and culture together with brilliancy in his scientific analysis of the value of nature. " — Durval Olivieri, former Director of the Bahia State Environmental Agency

"This book makes an important contribution to the public policy literature, especially the emerging theory of environmental policy implementation. It will help international agencies and multilateral corporations make smarter investments. " — Lawrence E. Susskind, coauthor of Better Environmental Policy Studies: How to Design and Conduct More Effective Analysis