Investing in conservation pays off, study findsLeave a Comment
- The study by an international team of researchers found that the $14.4 billion that countries spent on conservation from 1992 to 2003 reduced expected declines in global biodiversity by 29 percent.
- Conservation spending reduced species decline and that development pressure increased it, but unevenly. A country’s size, number of species present, and the conservation status of those species at the start of the study period all played a role in determining its biodiversity decline score
- October 25, 2017 University of Georgia read full ScienceDaily article here
- Governments and donors have spent billions of dollars since the 1992 Rio Earth Summit attempting to slow the pace of species extinctions around the world. Now, a new article provides the first clear evidence that those efforts are working….
…Among the study’s findings were that 60 percent of the world’s biodiversity loss could be attributed to seven countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, China, India, Australia and, principally driven by species loss in Hawaii, the U.S. Meanwhile, another seven countries — Mauritius, Seychelles, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Poland and Ukraine — saw their biodiversity improve.
“The good news is that a lot of biodiversity would be protected for relatively little cost by investments in developing countries with high numbers of species,” said Gittleman. He added that it was important to note that as development pressures increase, conservation spending will have to keep pace. Policymakers could use the model to determine these budgets.
“This model provides a framework we can use to balance human development with maintaining biodiversity,” said Gittleman. “In my view, this is an empirical scientific framework of true sustainability.”
….Conservation spending had a greater impact in poorer countries than wealthier ones, for instance, and in countries with greater numbers of threatened species. Agricultural expansion had very little effect in countries that already had a lot of farmland than in those with little, and economic growth had less effect in the poorest countries, although its impacts grew stronger as a country’s population increased….
Anthony Waldron, Daniel C. Miller, Dave Redding, Arne Mooers, Tyler S. Kuhn, Nate Nibbelink, J. Timmons Roberts, Joseph A. Tobias, John L. Gittleman. Reductions in global biodiversity loss predicted from conservation spending. Nature, 2017; DOI: 10.1038/nature24295