Conservation covenants and easements have become essential tools to secure biodiversity outcomes on private land, and to assist in meeting international protection targets. In Australia, the number and spatial area of conservation covenants has grown significantly in the past decade. Yet there has been little research or detailed policy analysis of conservation covenanting in Australia. We sought to determine how conservation covenanting agencies were measuring the biodiversity conservation outcomes achieved on covenanted properties, and factors inhibiting or contributing to measuring these outcomes. In addition, we also investigated the drivers and constraints associated with actually delivering the biodiversity outcomes, drawing on detailed input from covenanting programs. Although all conservation covenanting programs had the broad aim of maintaining or improving biodiversity in their covenants in the long term, the specific stated objectives of conservation covenanting programs varied. Programs undertook monitoring and evaluation in different ways and at different spatial and temporal scales. Thus, it was difficult to determine the extent Australian conservation covenanting agencies were measuring the biodiversity conservation outcomes achieved on covenanted properties on a national scale. Lack of time available to covenantors to undertake management was one of the biggest impediments to achieving biodiversity conservation outcomes. A lack of financial resources and human capital to monitor, knowing what to monitor, inconsistent monitoring methodologies, a lack of benchmark data, and length of time to achieve outcomes were all considered potential barriers to monitoring the biodiversity conservation outcomes of conservation covenants.
Environmental Management – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 23, 2014
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