Revisiting the Links between Governance and Biodiversity Loss

Revisiting the Links between Governance and Biodiversity Loss Introduction Many studies have focused on the impacts of corruption on economic development and poverty alleviation ( Kaufman 1997 ; Svensson 2000 ), but research on possible links between corruption and success in biodiversity conservation is largely restricted to a few key case studies and reviews (e.g., Gibson 1999 ; Barrett et al. 2001 ; McCarthy 2002 ) and a number of anecdotal reports. To address this evident gap on such a potentially controversial topic, we published the first quantitative analyses relating governance to patterns of biodiversity loss based on transnational data sets. We investigated whether changes in forest cover and population sizes of African elephants and black rhinoceroses were correlated with national governance scores and whether countries identified as funding priorities by international donors tended to experience poor governance ( Smith et al. 2003 ). A recent paper by Barrett et al. (2006) revisited our article and focused on our analyses of forest cover and elephant numbers. In this response to Barrett et al. (2006) , we highlight three aspects of their paper: their misinterpretations of our original article; their criticism of our elephant analysis; and the need for further work on this controversial subject. Misinterpretations of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Conservation Biology Wiley

Revisiting the Links between Governance and Biodiversity Loss

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0888-8892
eISSN
1523-1739
D.O.I.
10.1111/j.1523-1739.2007.00726.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Introduction Many studies have focused on the impacts of corruption on economic development and poverty alleviation ( Kaufman 1997 ; Svensson 2000 ), but research on possible links between corruption and success in biodiversity conservation is largely restricted to a few key case studies and reviews (e.g., Gibson 1999 ; Barrett et al. 2001 ; McCarthy 2002 ) and a number of anecdotal reports. To address this evident gap on such a potentially controversial topic, we published the first quantitative analyses relating governance to patterns of biodiversity loss based on transnational data sets. We investigated whether changes in forest cover and population sizes of African elephants and black rhinoceroses were correlated with national governance scores and whether countries identified as funding priorities by international donors tended to experience poor governance ( Smith et al. 2003 ). A recent paper by Barrett et al. (2006) revisited our article and focused on our analyses of forest cover and elephant numbers. In this response to Barrett et al. (2006) , we highlight three aspects of their paper: their misinterpretations of our original article; their criticism of our elephant analysis; and the need for further work on this controversial subject. Misinterpretations of

Journal

Conservation BiologyWiley

Published: Aug 1, 2007

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