Institutions striving to conserve biological diversity spend millions of dollars on initiatives worldwide but rarely define, measure, and communicate conservation success. Conservation funding is finite and needs to be allocated optimally. To achieve this, two important issues require attention. First, we need more systematic evaluation of the impacts and costs of individual approaches and more synthesis of site‐specific information to enable comparisons of relative effectiveness among conservation approaches. Second, there must be stronger links between site‐specific initiatives and global monitoring of biodiversity. The information used by institutions to monitor the status of biodiversity at all scales rarely connects with the institutions attempting to conserve biodiversity. In the last 15 years there has been an increase in the assessment of outcomes from, not just inputs to, conservation projects. But the recent financial constraints of governments and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and foundations have, ironically, resulted in decreased monitoring just when we need it most if we are to invest limited resources wisely. Strong monitoring programs have contributed to conservation successes in several cases. For example, some whale species may have benefited from policies reinforced by international and national monitoring efforts. Although these efforts were too late to avoid the disappearance
Conservation Biology – Wiley
Published: Jun 1, 2004
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