AboutZoos, Since 2008


Mak­ing sus­tain­able devel­op­ment appeal­ing to con­ser­va­tion­ists and com­mu­ni­ties as well

pub­lished 29 March 2013 | mod­i­fied 08 March 2014

California centralcoast mpasIn a world first study, researchers have devel­oped a way for gov­ern­ments to bal­ance the needs of soci­ety and indus­try with those of endan­gered wildlife and envi­ron­ments.

Work by researchers in the ARC Cen­tre of Excel­lence for Envi­ron­men­tal Deci­sions (CEED) could help to dis­pel some of the deep, bit­ter and long‐running ten­sions between con­ser­va­tion­ists and indus­try or com­mu­ni­ties. They have devel­oped a novel approach that shows the spe­cific out­comes of a con­ser­va­tion plan, includ­ing how effec­tive it will be, how much it will cost and how the ben­e­fits or costs will be dis­trib­uted across dif­fer­ent com­mu­ni­ties or indus­tries. The study has been pub­lished online on March 25 in the sci­en­tific jour­nal Pro­ceed­ings of the National Acad­emy of Sci­ences.

The approach enables deci­sion mak­ers to bal­ance the needs of bio­di­ver­sity, eco­nom­ics, and peo­ple whose liveli­hoods are affected by con­ser­va­tion mea­sures, says Dr Carissa Klein from the CEED and The Uni­ver­sity of Queens­land.

It may not be desir­able to be equi­table in all cases, […..] but a plan that at least con­sid­ers equity dur­ing the deci­sion mak­ing process is more likely to suc­ceed than one that dis­re­gards it altogether
Dr Carissa Klein, CEED and The Uni­ver­sity of Queens­land »

The ideal out­come of many con­ser­va­tion plans is meet­ing its bio­di­ver­sity goals cost effec­tively and dis­trib­ut­ing the ben­e­fits or costs equally,” Dr Klein says. “These three aims are also known as ‘triple bot­tom­line solu­tions’ — effi­cient, cost‐effective and equi­table.” Whether it’s design­ing pro­tected areas, or pri­ori­tis­ing restora­tion activ­i­ties or loca­tions, con­ser­va­tion plans usu­ally come at a cost to some­one, she con­tin­ues. For exam­ple, set­ting up a marine pro­tected area (MPA) affects com­mer­cial fish­ers, recre­ational fish­ers and even the oil and gas indus­try.

So CEED researchers have devel­oped an approach that focuses on the three goals in a con­ser­va­tion plan. They tested it in three places: cen­tral coast in Cal­i­for­nia, Raja Ampat in Indone­sia, and the Coral Tri­an­gle region.

See the beauty of Raja Ampat under water (credit midael75):

Our approach includes infor­ma­tion on the habi­tats that we want to con­serve, how dif­fer­ent com­mu­ni­ties or fish­ing groups use the envi­ron­ment, includ­ing where the peo­ple fish, how much and what they fish for, and in some cases, how much money the fish­ing indus­try makes,” Dr Klein says.“This will show us how much it will cost to achieve a cer­tain con­ser­va­tion goal — such as pro­tect­ing a par­tic­u­lar habi­tat — and how the ben­e­fits and costs will be dis­trib­uted across dif­fer­ent com­mu­ni­ties.”

The study shows that if you want to achieve per­fect equity, the con­ser­va­tion out­come will be com­pro­mised,” she says. “How­ever, we also found that highly inequitable sce­nar­ios threaten the suc­cess of the plan because the peo­ple who are excluded from the ben­e­fits or have to pay more have lit­tle moti­va­tion to adhere to the agree­ment.”

Dr Klein says that the needs are dif­fer­ent for every con­ser­va­tion plan: “It may not be desir­able to be equi­table in all cases. For instance, you may not want to dis­trib­ute the ben­e­fits or costs equally between a com­mer­cial fisher and a recre­ational one. But a plan that at least con­sid­ers equity dur­ing the deci­sion mak­ing process is more likely to suc­ceed than one that dis­re­gards it alto­gether.”

If we can find out what the exact trade‐offs are in a plan, and how well we can accom­plish the three main goals, we can bet­ter decide what we want to pri­ori­tise and what we’re will­ing to com­pro­mise, and this is exactly what our research does,” she says.

This leads to a deci­sion that has con­sid­ered the needs and inter­ests of dif­fer­ent groups, whether it be fish­ing indus­tries or com­mu­ni­ties, which means that the con­ser­va­tion plan is more likely to suc­ceed.”

(Source: CEED Media Release, 26.03.2013)

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Tiger range countries map

Tiger map” (CC BY 2.5) by Sander­son et al., 2006.

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