Professional Capacity Building: the Missing Agenda in Conservation Priority Setting

Professional Capacity Building: the Missing Agenda in Conservation Priority Setting Given current unprecedented extinction rates ( Mace et al. 2005 ), finding ways to invest limited conservation resources is of the utmost importance. Wilson et al. (2006) recently made significant advances in this area by explicitly integrating financial costs and temporal constraints into a model for conservation priority setting, which to date has been driven largely by static area‐selection algorithms. This is particularly relevant at a time when international conservation organizations are finding it difficult to spend their own funds effectively in the global priority areas they have identified ( Halpern et al. 2006 ). A crucial dimension remains missing from Wilson et al.'s (2006) model, however: the availability of human resources to implement the priorities identified. For example, in Austral and Neotropical America (ANA; from México to Argentina, including the Caribbean) there is a clear gap between the conservation work to be done and the professionals available to do it. To reach a level of technical conservation capacity in ANA comparable to that existing in the United States, the number of conservation biology departments in ANA universities must increase by four to eight times, at an estimated cost of US$8–20 million over a few years ( Rodríguez http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Conservation Biology Wiley

Professional Capacity Building: the Missing Agenda in Conservation Priority Setting

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0888-8892
eISSN
1523-1739
D.O.I.
10.1111/j.1523-1739.2006.00535_1.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Given current unprecedented extinction rates ( Mace et al. 2005 ), finding ways to invest limited conservation resources is of the utmost importance. Wilson et al. (2006) recently made significant advances in this area by explicitly integrating financial costs and temporal constraints into a model for conservation priority setting, which to date has been driven largely by static area‐selection algorithms. This is particularly relevant at a time when international conservation organizations are finding it difficult to spend their own funds effectively in the global priority areas they have identified ( Halpern et al. 2006 ). A crucial dimension remains missing from Wilson et al.'s (2006) model, however: the availability of human resources to implement the priorities identified. For example, in Austral and Neotropical America (ANA; from México to Argentina, including the Caribbean) there is a clear gap between the conservation work to be done and the professionals available to do it. To reach a level of technical conservation capacity in ANA comparable to that existing in the United States, the number of conservation biology departments in ANA universities must increase by four to eight times, at an estimated cost of US$8–20 million over a few years ( Rodríguez

Journal

Conservation BiologyWiley

Published: Oct 1, 2006

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