This paper describes an environmental conservation planning model used in Queensland, Australia to purchase agreements on 66 sites covering 81,046 ha at a cost of A$1.9 million. The model was used as part of a competitive tendering program called “NatureAssist”. The model maximises conservation benefit subject to a cost constraint using binary combinatorial optimisation. Multiple criteria analysis (MCA) is used to capture investor preferences and measure benefit over multiple outcomes. Conservation costs are drawn from real market data; i.e. the prices being offered by sellers (landholders) to supply conservation services to a buyer (the government). This study shows the potential strengths, and weaknesses, of taking an MCA approach to select conservation sites in a real market context.
Biological Conservation – Elsevier
Published: Sep 1, 2008
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