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Low-cost countries not best conservation investment

Date:
December 18, 2013
Source:
University of Kent
Summary:
Wildlife conservation projects in countries where management costs are low are less likely to succeed and could also have a negative impact on people, according to new research.

This research analyzed conservation management, human rights, and governance data, and found that countries with low costs generally had low levels of public involvement in conservation projects – resulting in donors becoming more reliant on governments to achieve things on-the-ground. The study also found that governments in low-cost countries scored poorly on bureaucratic quality, corruption and respect for human rights.
Credit: University of Kent

Wildlife conservation projects in countries where management costs are low are less likely to succeed and could also have a negative impact on people, according to new research by the University of Kent and the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC).

Published in PLOS ONE and titled "Cheap and Nasty? The Potential Perils of Using Management Costs to Identify Global Conservation Priorities," the research is the first to investigate links between conservation management costs and a range of factors that determine conservation success.

The research, which analyzed conservation management, human rights, and governance data, found that countries with low costs generally had low levels of public involvement in conservation projects -- resulting in donors becoming more reliant on governments to achieve things on-the-ground. However, worryingly the study also found that governments in low-cost countries scored poorly on bureaucratic quality, corruption and respect for human rights.

The research is particularly useful for international donors who play a major role in funding wildlife conservation projects throughout the world and need prioritization strategies to make sure their money is well spent.

Dr Bob Smith, of the University of Kent's Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE), said: 'The conservation community is often reluctant to discuss negative issues that relate to their work, such as corruption and poor treatment of local people by government officials, which are probably more prevalent in some countries. Our study shows we need to investigate these issues further and develop approaches that account for and minimize their impacts.'

Erin McCreless of UCSC said: 'Our research suggests conservation donors need to consider a wide range of factors, beyond simply the direct working costs of projects, when choosing where to fund. This is because conservationists in low-cost countries have to spend more time and effort overcoming bureaucratic hurdles and ensuring their work does not have negative impacts on local people.'


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Kent. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Erin McCreless, Piero Visconti, Josie Carwardine, Chris Wilcox, Robert J. Smith. Cheap and Nasty? The Potential Perils of Using Management Costs to Identify Global Conservation Priorities. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (11): e80893 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0080893

Cite This Page:

University of Kent. "Low-cost countries not best conservation investment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131218100221.htm>.
University of Kent. (2013, December 18). Low-cost countries not best conservation investment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131218100221.htm
University of Kent. "Low-cost countries not best conservation investment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131218100221.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

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