Governance and the loss of biodiversity

Smith, Robert J. and Muir, Robert D. J. and Walpole, Matthew J. and Balmford, Andrew and Leader-Williams, Nigel (2003) Governance and the loss of biodiversity. Nature, 426 . pp. 67-70. ISSN 0028-0836. (doi: (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Most of the world’s biodiversity occurs within developing countries that require donor support to build their conservation capacity1.Unfortunately, some of these countries experience high levels of political corruption2, which may limit the success of conservation projects by reducing effective funding levels and distorting priorities3. We investigated whether changes in three well surveyed and widespread components of biodiversity were associated with national governance scores and other socioeconomic measures. Here we show that governance scores were correlated with changes in total forest cover, but notwith changes in natural forest cover. We found strong associations between governance scores and changes in the numbers of African letters to nature NATURE |VOL 426 | 6 NOVEMBER 2003 | 67 elephants and black rhinoceroses, and these socio-economic factors explained observed patterns better than any others. Finally, we show that countries rich in species and identified as containing priority areas for conservation have lower governance scores than other nations. These results stress the need for conservationists to develop and implement policies that reduce the effects of political corruption and, in this regard, we question the universal applicability of an influential approach to conservation that seeks to ban international trade in endangered species.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > Biodiversity Conservation Group
Depositing User: Bob Smith
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2007 18:03 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2014 09:34 UTC
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