Skip to main content

Cheap and Nasty? The Potential Perils of Using Management Costs to Identify Global Conservation Priorities

McCreless, Erin, Carwardine, Josie, Visconti, Piero, Wilcox, Chris, Smith, Robert J. (2013) Cheap and Nasty? The Potential Perils of Using Management Costs to Identify Global Conservation Priorities. PLoS ONE, 8 (11). e80893. ISSN 1932-6203. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0080893) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0080893

Abstract

The financial cost of biodiversity conservation varies widely around the world and such costs should be considered when identifying countries to best focus conservation investments. Previous global prioritizations have been based on global models for protected area management costs, but this metric may be related to other factors that negatively influence the effectiveness and social impacts of conservation. Here we investigate such relationships and first show that countries with low predicted costs are less politically stable. Local support and capacity can mitigate the impacts of such instability, but we also found that these countries have less civil society involvement in conservation. Therefore, externally funded projects in these countries must rely on government agencies for implementation. This can be problematic, as our analyses show that governments in countries with low predicted costs score poorly on indices of corruption, bureaucratic quality and human rights. Taken together, our results demonstrate that using national-level estimates for protected area management costs to set global conservation priorities is simplistic, as projects in apparently low-cost countries are less likely to succeed and more likely to have negative impacts on people. We identify the need for an improved approach to develop global conservation cost metrics that better capture the true costs of avoiding or overcoming such problems. Critically, conservation scientists must engage with practitioners to better understand and implement context-specific solutions. This approach assumes that measures of conservation costs, like measures of conservation value, are organization specific, and would bring a much-needed focus on reducing the negative impacts of conservation to develop projects that benefit people and biodiversity.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0080893
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH75 Conservation (Biology)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: Bob Smith
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2013 09:57 UTC
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2019 10:36 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/36956 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Smith, Robert J.: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1599-9171
  • Depositors only (login required):