Abstract: Conservation scientists recognize the urgency of incorporating opportunity costs into conservation planning. Despite this, applications to date have been limited, perhaps partly because of the difficulty in determining costs in regions with limited data on land prices and ownership. We present methods for estimating opportunity costs of land preservation in landscapes or ecoregions that are a changing mix of agriculture and natural habitat. Our approach derives from the literature on estimating land values as opportunity costs of alternate land uses and takes advantage of general availability of necessary data, even in relatively data‐poor regions. The methods integrate probabilities of habitat conversion with region‐wide estimates of economic benefits from agricultural land uses and estimate land values with a discount rate to convert annual values into net present values. We applied our method in a landscape undergoing agricultural conversion in Paraguay. Our model of opportunity costs predicted an independent data set of land values and was consistent with implicit discount rates of 15–25%. Model‐generated land values were strongly correlated with actual land values even after correcting for the effect of property size and proportion of property that was forested. We used the model to produce a map of opportunity costs and to estimate the costs of conserving forest within two proposed corridors in the landscape. This method can be applied to conservation planning in situations where natural habitat is currently being converted to market‐oriented land uses. Incorporating not only biological attributes but also socioeconomic data can help in the design of efficient networks of protected areas that represent biodiversity at minimum costs.
Conservation Biology – Wiley
Published: Apr 1, 2006
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
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
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.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera