Evaluating the cost-effectiveness of conservation: The UK Biodiversity Action Plan

Evaluating the cost-effectiveness of conservation: The UK Biodiversity Action Plan Ecological and economic evaluation should be a key component of biodiversity conservation programmes since it underpins the efficient allocation of resources. However, most such programmes are not currently assessed in terms of the rate of return on investment that they provide. The UK Government launched the UK Biodiversity Action Plan in 1994. We collected data from those responsible for monitoring this programme, then used a form of cost-effectiveness analysis to evaluate its effectiveness and efficiency at meeting the targets of individual Species Action Plans. In this context, effectiveness refers to the goal of maximising total conservation gains, whereas efficiency refers to maximising conservation gain per unit cost. We define the latter as a basic economic objective for conservation resource allocation. We find that the distribution of spending across plans was highly biased towards vertebrates and there was no correlation between cost and effectiveness. Non-vertebrate plans tended to be more efficient than vertebrate plans. However, following a species utility-based weighting, this tendency was less pronounced and a significant positive correlation between cost and effectiveness emerged. Nevertheless, this evidence suggests that the efficiency of the UK Biodiversity Action Plan could be improved by correcting the imbalance in spending between vertebrate and non-vertebrate plans. This study highlights the importance of effective monitoring and reporting in determining the utility of biodiversity conservation programmes. It demonstrates how explicit cost-effectiveness analysis can be used to evaluate such programmes, and shows that it could also be adapted to accommodate other forms of ecological and social value. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biological Conservation Elsevier

Evaluating the cost-effectiveness of conservation: The UK Biodiversity Action Plan

Loading next page...
 
/lp/elsevier/evaluating-the-cost-effectiveness-of-conservation-the-uk-biodiversity-eV0WSagHTs
Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0006-3207
DOI
10.1016/j.biocon.2009.08.010
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Ecological and economic evaluation should be a key component of biodiversity conservation programmes since it underpins the efficient allocation of resources. However, most such programmes are not currently assessed in terms of the rate of return on investment that they provide. The UK Government launched the UK Biodiversity Action Plan in 1994. We collected data from those responsible for monitoring this programme, then used a form of cost-effectiveness analysis to evaluate its effectiveness and efficiency at meeting the targets of individual Species Action Plans. In this context, effectiveness refers to the goal of maximising total conservation gains, whereas efficiency refers to maximising conservation gain per unit cost. We define the latter as a basic economic objective for conservation resource allocation. We find that the distribution of spending across plans was highly biased towards vertebrates and there was no correlation between cost and effectiveness. Non-vertebrate plans tended to be more efficient than vertebrate plans. However, following a species utility-based weighting, this tendency was less pronounced and a significant positive correlation between cost and effectiveness emerged. Nevertheless, this evidence suggests that the efficiency of the UK Biodiversity Action Plan could be improved by correcting the imbalance in spending between vertebrate and non-vertebrate plans. This study highlights the importance of effective monitoring and reporting in determining the utility of biodiversity conservation programmes. It demonstrates how explicit cost-effectiveness analysis can be used to evaluate such programmes, and shows that it could also be adapted to accommodate other forms of ecological and social value.

Journal

Biological ConservationElsevier

Published: Dec 1, 2009

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off