The drivers behind nature conservation cost

David Lehrer, Nir Becker, Pua Bar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

In order to estimate the financial resources needed to adequately fund measures to protect nature both worldwide and country by country, a number of models have been proposed that attempt to predict the variation in management costs of protected areas (PAs). Other than the size of a PA, there is no consensus among the studies of what other variables impact budget decision making. In this study, the budgets for the four districts of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA), the main government agency responsible for nature conservation in Israel, were split into 37 ranger areas. The ranger areas were compared according to geophysical and ecological attributes to determine whether size or any other variable could be linked to budget size. This study's aim is to propose a conservation cost function that will enable us to objectively predict conservation costs based on PA attributes. Predicted costs can then be compared to actual budgets to determine whether there is a gap in funding. This method can be adapted to other regions based on incorporating the characteristics specific to that region. Using linear regression, a model that included the total size of reserves (PA) in a ranger area, the number of reserves in a ranger area, and tourism's impact was the best fit (r2 = 0.74). Surprisingly, as opposed to other studies on conservation costs, PA size had a negative impact, meaning conservation costs rose the smaller the reserve size within a ranger area. On the other hand, the number of reserves in a PA and the level of tourism both had positive impacts on budget size. This indicates the higher costs of managing multiple small reserves and protecting nature while accommodating the public. Other biological indicators appeared to have no impact on budgets, which in itself may indicate budget considerations beyond conservation objectives. This study's uniqueness lies in the use of a wide range of variables to try to determine which are predictors of conservation costs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104222
JournalLand Use Policy
Volume89
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019

Keywords

  • Conservation costs
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Israel
  • Protected area
  • Return on investment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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