DOI: 1011.0244Nov 1, 2010Paper

Modelling trade offs between public and private conservation policies

Ascelin GordonLucy Bastin


To reduce global biodiversity loss, there is an urgent need to determine the most efficient allocation of conservation resources. Recently, there has been a growing trend for many governments to supplement public ownership and management of reserves with incentive programs for conservation on private land. At the same time, policies to promote conservation on private land are rarely evaluated in terms of their ecological consequences. This raises important questions, such as the extent to which private land conservation can improve conservation outcomes, and how it should be mixed with more traditional public land conservation. We address these questions, using a general framework for modelling environmental policies and a case study examining the conservation of endangered native grasslands to the west of Melbourne, Australia. Specifically, we examine three policies that involve: i) spending all resources on creating public conservation areas; ii) spending all resources on an ongoing incentive program where private landholders are paid to manage vegetation on their property with 5-year contracts; and iii) splitting resources between these two approaches. The performance of each strategy is quantified with a vegetation condit...Continue Reading

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