Article

Understanding investment in biodiversity conservation in Mexico

If you want to read the PDF, try requesting it from the authors.

Abstract

Documenting financial resources in biodiversity conservation is a key aspect worldwide in order to set priorities and use effectively the limited resources available. In Mexico, a megadiverse country, studies on financial resources invested in biodiversity conservation are scarce and do not address funding for conservation comprehensively. Using recent data from several sources and applying criteria based on the national priorities for conservation, we compiled, systematized and analyzed data at a national scale on financing sources, financial resources and conservation organizations and their projects. The information obtained is presented in various ways and part of it (case study) is already an information system that can be continuously up-dated. Some of the results show the following: a steady diversification of mechanisms and methods for raising funds for conservation; an increase in governmental budgets; the acknowledgment by the private sector of the importance of biodiversity conservation; a greater technical capacity in people and organizations working in conservation; a greater accessibility of financial resources to support and maintain conservation projects; yet a short term vision in conservation projects; among other. Although the results obtained through this study are a first approach, they can now be used as a baseline to continue gathering and analyzing information on conservation financing in Mexico.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... Although a shortage of funds for biodiversity conservation has been wellestablished (Coad et al., 2019;McCarthy et al., 2012), very few studies provide comprehensive evidence on the allocation of available funding, particularly within countries and across all conservation actions. Studies that have done so have focused on Latin America (e.g., Mexico (Salcido et al., 2009) and Peru (Nakamura, 2017)) and cover a relatively limited period of time. ...
... Country-based analysis of conservation funding is important because international investments are frequently directed at the country level (Balmford et al., 2000), where decisions about conservation actions are made by national-level institutions (Ferrier, 2002). Thus, knowledge of funding allocation within countries is essential to analyze and guide conservation activities and spending (Salcido et al., 2009). Furthermore, it is necessary to identify conservation priorities, actions, and needs at finer scales as biodiversity and threats to biodiversity are not equally distributed across the landscape, even within a region or a country (Brooks et al., 2006). ...
... Funding levels for biodiversity conservation in Bhutan have ranged from $0 to $20 million annually over the past four decades, with the exception of a spike in 2017. Spatially, the average annual funding for biodiversity conservation was $159/km 2 in Bhutan, which puts it between the results of the only two other in-country funding mapping studies of which we are aware: $219.55/km 2 for Mexico (Salcido et al., 2009) and $105.06/km 2 for Peru (Nakamura, 2017). Additionally, existing studies have identified Bhutan as one of the most underfunded countries (Waldron et al., 2013) and modeled shortfalls of the funds needed for biodiversity conservation (e.g., McCarthy et al., 2012 estimate that the annual cost of conservation action for threatened bird species in Bhutan is between USD 2392 and 5961/km 2 /year). ...
Article
Full-text available
Access to sufficient financial resources is vital for effective biodiversity conservation. Although the importance of biodiversity conservation is widely recognized, lack of funding has been a significant impediment to achieving conservation goals. Yet, information on the allocation of conservation funding remains limited. This study addresses this gap by mapping conservation funding flows in Bhutan over the past four decades. We identified 249 projects totaling US$ 239.4 million allocated for biodiversity conservation in Bhutan from 1980 to 2019. Most of this funding derived from bilateral and multilateral aid agencies, with domestic trust fund and private foundations also contributing. Funding for projects with coupled conservation and development objectives and gender components was relatively high, particularly for funds allocated by multilateral and bilateral organizations. By contrast, domestic funding typically did not include development or gender components. Private foundations and domestic sources emphasized capacity development interventions. Despite relatively limited funding flows, the socio‐political context in Bhutan, which favors environmentally friendly practices, may have been key to the country's widely recognized conservation success. Evidence on trends and patterns in conservation finance, as presented here for Bhutan, can advance conservation science and practice by shedding new light on historical and current conservation priorities and helping inform future allocation. Although billions of dollars are invested for biodiversity conservation, the allocation of such funding remains poorly understood. Our study addresses this gap by mapping conservation funding flows in Bhutan over the past four decades. We identified 249 projects totaling US$ 239.4 million allocated for conservation in Bhutan from 1980 to 2019, most of which was derived from bilateral and multilateral aid agencies.
... However, while current levels of finance for conservation have been described as a fraction of those needed (e.g. OECD, 2020; IPBES, 2019; Berghöfer et al., 2017;Clark et al., 2018;Parker et al., 2012;McCarthy et al., 2012;Butchart et al., 2010), our understanding of the global and national landscape for biodiversity finance, how much we spend, who spends it, and to what end, has remained remarkably poor (Brockington and Scholfield, 2010;Salcido et al., 2009;Waldron et al., 2017). ...
... NBERs have been scarce in number, but can reveal the allocation of finance and contribute to a discussion of its effectiveness (Salcido et al., 2009;Halpern et al., 2006). When the distribution of expenditure has been mapped against policy objectives and conservation priorities (e.g. ...
... Although the dominance of public sector finance is by no means unusual, the extent of the dependency was surprising. The situation contrasts with that of many developing countries where carbon capture, international conservation funds and private sector finance have offered opportunities to diversify funding (Salcido et al., 2009). This high reliance on government funding highlights that biodiversity finance is at the mercy of economic fluctuations and political agendas. ...
Article
Full-text available
How much money is being spent on conserving biodiversity? Is it enough? Who is funding national biodiversity conservation and what sort of actions receive the most funding? How can we find synergies between the financing of biodiversity and of ecosystem services? Historically these sorts of questions have been hard to answer. The introduction of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Resource Mobilisation Strategy with new requirements to monitor finance for biodiversity is, for the first time, driving efforts to track finance for conservation through National Biodiversity Expenditure Reviews (NBERs). In theory, this can help inform strategies to upscale resources for biodiversity conservation. However, NBERs also present methodological challenges, while their value remains untested. Using Ireland as a case study, this paper explores the uses of NBERs, examines their methodological challenges and discusses their potential implications for national biodiversity strategies. The findings reveal that the process of tracking financial flows requires the division of biodiversity finance in a way that may not reflect its complex character. Moreover, the focus on allocation and distribution of finance can be at the expense of understanding the effectiveness of biodiversity spending. Nevertheless, in the context of the promotion of market-based approaches, providing an evidence base for whether, where and when resource mobilisation is needed can be argued to be a step in the right direction.
... Switzerland, Germany, India), regions (EU -Medarova-Bergstrom et al. 2015) and researchers (e.g. Waldron et al. 2013;Brockington & Scholfield 2010;Salcido et al. 2009), have developed their own approaches to scrutinise financial flows for conservation. ...
... Undertaking a BER is linked to a wide range of potential benefits. Primarily, BERs are undertaken as a means to capture a holistic picture of biodiversity financing, to understand what sorts of measures are being financed and what extent they relate to conservation efforts (BIOFIN 2016;UNDP 2015;Shlalkhanova 2015;Medarova-Bergstrom et al. 2014;Salcido et al. 2009). Therefore, BERs are chiefly used to give a clear picture of spending year on year, and to compare spending arising from different sources (IUCN, 2010). ...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The NBER records biodiversity spending by government departments, agencies and NGOs between 2010 and 2015, using the categories of expenditure provided by BIOFIN. It then compares these with the seven biodiversity objectives and associated targets contained in Ireland’s National Biodiversity Action Plan 2011-2016 (maintained in the new NBAP 2017-2021) and the goals and targets comprising the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity agreed by the CBD Conference of the Parties in Aichi, Japan in 2010.This report explains the findings from the NBER and describes how the data has been presented and analysed in the accompanying database. The review provides the baseline from which expenditure data can continue to collected and analysed on an on-going basis to map trends in biodiversity finance and to determine its continuing relevance to national and international biodiversity targets.
... The study found that conservation investment in Mexico has increased during the last 20 years as more funds have become available, yet the impact of these investments seems to be shortlived. With few exceptions, most of the funding in Mexico is for shortterm conservation projects (1-2 years) and these types of project usually have very low impact (Salcido et al. 2009). ...
Chapter
Full-text available
The concluding chapter of this volume summarizes the common themes in the reporting of environmental affairs across the seven case studies presented. These themes include rationales for shifts in attention to environmental issues, and interfaces of media, public, and official agendas, including ontological perspectives on just what environmental journalism is. In many cases, the reporting only surfaces when an environmental issue has become a real crisis. Another trend was the importance of individual impetus in becoming a newsroom entrepreneur who can push environmental issues past gatekeepers. By highlighting the shortcomings and successes of media in Latin America, the authors conclude by making a call to practitioners and scholars to address the identified limitations and advance environmental journalism in the region.
... The study found that conservation investment in Mexico has increased during the last 20 years as more funds have become available, yet the impact of these investments seems to be shortlived. With few exceptions, most of the funding in Mexico is for shortterm conservation projects (1-2 years) and these types of project usually have very low impact (Salcido et al. 2009). ...
Chapter
Full-text available
The authors of this chapter focus on the role of the Mexican news media in reporting environmental issues, with special attention to the watchdog function of the press. The media are expected to keep a close eye on threats and risks and sound the alarm before these develop into crises; yet, that has not been the case in Mexico. This watchdog function requires sufficient journalism and science training to deal with the large inventory of environmental issues requiring attention, which includes issues affecting land, fresh and salt water, waste, species protection and air pollution. The chapter first shows how the media are organized and how they report in Mexico, followed by a description of the government agencies responsible for environmental affairs; then it describes the most pressing environmental issues across the country. To demonstrate that the Mexican press cover the environment only in times of crisis, the authors conducted a content analysis of the 2016 air pollution crisis that was experienced in Mexico City. The authors conclude that unless an environmental issue reaches catastrophic levels, the watchdog function of the news media is virtually dormant.
... The great diversity of Mexico, one of the highest in the world, includes not only a large number of species, ecosystems and endemic species richness, but also a great genetic variability shown in many taxa Pé rez et al., 2009). Mexico boasts a biological richness of 10-12% of the world's species, of which only 42% is currently known . ...
... Mexico is considered as a top mega-diverse country [1,2] due to the large latitudinal and longitudinal expansion of the Nearctic-Neotropical migratory system covering it [3,4]. Within this large area, ecosystems offer a number of "services" such as biological control of both pests and diseases, pollination of cultivated plants, prevention of soil erosion, hydrogeochemical cycle, and carbon uptake [5][6][7]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Caesalpinia platyloba was evaluated as an alternative for the retention of atmospheric carbon and as a feasible and viable economic activity in terms of income for tropical deciduous forest (TDF) peasants in the carbon markets. A total of 110 trees of C. platyloba from plantations and a TDF in the Northwest of Mexico were sampled. Growth (increase in height, diameter, and volume curves) was adjusted to assess their growth. Growth of individuals (height, diameter at breast height [DBH], age, and tree crown cover) was recorded. The Schumacher model (H = β0eβ1•E-1), by means of the guided curve method, was used to adjust growth models. Information analysis was made through the non-linear procedure with the multivariate secant or false position (DUD) method using the SAS software. Growth and increase models revealed acceptable adjustments (pseudo R2>0.8). C. platyloba reaches >8m of height with 12cm in diameter and 550cm3 of volume, presenting the highest increase at 11 years considered as basal age. Highest significant density of wood was in good quality sites (0.80g•cm-3), with a carbon content (average of 99.15tC•ha-1) at the highest density of 2500 trees•ha-1 (without thinning). Average incomes of US$483.33tC•ha-1 are expected. The profitability values (NPW = US$81,646.65, IRR = 472%, and B/C = 0.82) for C. platyloba make its cultivation a viable and profitable activity, considering a management scheme of the income derived from wood selling and from carbon credits.
... The great diversity of Mexico, one of the highest in the world, includes not only a large number of species, ecosystems and endemic species richness, but also a great genetic variability shown in many taxa Pé rez et al., 2009). Mexico boasts a biological richness of 10-12% of the world's species, of which only 42% is currently known . ...
Article
Because the high biodiversity of Mexico about 12% of the country’s total area is included as a Natural Protected Areas (NPAs); however, in the last years, according to the official data, an astonishing number of mining concessions covering 28% of the total area of the country has been granted already. The objective of this work is to quantify the geographical overlap of mining concessions with the federal NPAs of Mexico including the exploration/exploitation status of minerals to be extracted. We use geo-referenced polygons of the NPAs and those of mining exploration and exploitation concessions until 2010 and calculated their overlap extension with the application of ArcView GIS 3.3 (ESRI; Redland, CA, U.S.A.). Our results showed that a total of 1609 mining concessions covering an area of 1,486,433 ha geographi- cally overlaps with the NPAs. With the exception of Natural Monuments (NM), all the different categories of NPAs in Mexico showed mining concessions; 75% of Natural Resources Protection Area (NRPA); 63% of Biosphere Reserve (BR); 47% of Protected Area for Flora and Fauna (PAFF); 22% of Sanctuary (S); and 15% of National Park (NP). The impacts of metal mining activities on NPAs are not only limited to biodiversity and affectation to human communities, but they also have a radius of influence not yet evaluated since most of the NPAs have a special role in supplying watersheds and aquifers. Obviously, currently in Mexico a NPA decree does not represent an obstacle to megamining projects; in consequence, their real environmental impacts are underestimated. It is a priority to legally support canceling the mining concessions already granted in the NPAs and stop granting new ones in the future. In the proportion to which environmental authorities continue to openly accept mining concessions within the NPAs, through modifying management programs that allow these activities, they may cause a significant increase in rejections of local people toward the changes in management programs and on the promotion of new NPAs in Mexico.
... As was mentioned in the introduction, the JV system has been successful in achieving regional-scale conservation goals for migratory birds in the United States and Canada, but Mexico has lagged behind in the establishment of this system. A functional transnational PES, strongly supported by the U.S. hunters' willingness-to-pay for habitat conservation, could be an opportunity to expedite the creation of a Mexican JVs as an important strategy to preserve biodiversity and increase conservation efforts in Mexico (Salcido, Quiroz, & Ramírez, 2009). In the Baja California Peninsula, for instance, land is already being purchased through the support of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) in collaboration with local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). ...
Article
Full-text available
This article explores transnational ecosystem services in North America, provided by winter habitat for waterfowl in western Mexico coastal lagoons, and the hunting industry supported by these birds in the United States. This article shows that the number of waterfowl harvested in the United States is related to the abundance of waterfowl wintering in Mexico. On average, this flow of ecosystem services annually yields US$ 4.68 million in hunting stamp sales in the western United States. A demand curve, fitted to duck hunting licenses as a function of stamp price and previous-year waterfowl harvest, estimated US$3–6 million in consumer surplus produced in addition to governmental stamp sales revenue. This strongly suggests that waterfowl wintering habitat in western Mexico is economically valuable to U.S. hunters. Because hunters may benefit substantially from these habitats they may be willing to pay for conservation efforts in western Mexico that can result in transnational benefits received in the United States.
... In addition, a significant number of these species are endemic to Mexico. Its high biodiversity is a result of the environmental heterogeneity that occurs throughout the country (Salcido et al., 2009). In Mexico, ecosystems with high biodiversity are not confined to particular geographic areas, which make them difficult to protect and to manage sustainably (Reid, 1998). ...
Article
Full-text available
The oil industry is one of the main sectors of wealth generation and development in Mexico, however, the environmental impacts that it has caused have led to an ongoing assessment of its performance. In addition, the facilities of the oil industry are usually located in complex tropical ecosystems of high biodiversity, including some recognised as highly fragile and inside protected areas, thus causing public concern. This article addresses the issue of environmental indicators as a tool to enable oil industry to assess its interactions with ecosystems, particularly with highly biodiverse ones. Some important environmental performance indicators are mentioned and discussed for water, air, soil, social and ecosystem functioning.
Article
Recently, Mexican rural development policies pursue new objectives: to produce unique economic values such as tourism and, more specifically, ecotourism in protected areas. The conditions upon which the State and other relevant actors lead to increase productivity in protected areas have been little discussed, even less attention has been taken to the complex interplay of general processes which affect tourism production and biodiversity protection. Based on a critical and realistic analysis of ecotourism production in northern Quintana Roo (Mexico), this paper offers a way to understand the conditions on this "novel" pattern of development that favours capital expansion.
Article
Recently, Mexican rural development policies pursue new objectives: to produce unique economic values such as tourism and, more specifically, ecotourism in protected areas. The conditions upon which the State and other relevant actors lead to increase productivity in protected areas have been little discussed, even less attention has been taken to the complex interplay of general processes which affect tourism production and biodiversity protection. Based on a critical and realistic analysis of ecotourism production in northern Quintana Roo (Mexico), this paper offers a way to understand the conditions on this "novel" pattern of development that favours capital expansion.
Article
Full-text available
It is essential to understand whether conservation interventions are having the desired effect, particularly in light of increasing pressures on biodiversity and because of requirements by donors that project success be demonstrated. Whilst most evaluations look at effectiveness at a project or organizational level, local efforts need to be connected to an understanding of the effectiveness of conservation directed at a species as a whole, particularly as most metrics of conservation success are at the level of species. We present a framework for measuring the effectiveness of conservation attention at a species level over time, based on scoring eight factors essential for species conservation (engaging stakeholders, management programme, education and awareness, funding and resource mobilization, addressing threats, communication, capacity building and status knowledge), across input, output and outcome stages, in relation to the proportion of the species’ range where each factor attains its highest score. The framework was tested using expert elicitation for 35 mammal and amphibian species on the Zoological Society of London's list of Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered species. Broad patterns in the index produced by the framework could suggest potential mechanisms underlying change in species status. Assigning an uncertainty score to information demonstrates not only where gaps in knowledge exist, but discrepancies in knowledge between experts. This framework could be a useful tool to link local and global scales of impact on species conservation, and could provide a simple and visually appealing way of tracking conservation over time.
Article
Full-text available
The continued growth of human populations and of per capita consumption have resulted in unsustainable exploitation of Earth’s biological diversity, exacerbated by climate change, ocean acidification, and other anthropogenic environmental impacts. We argue that effective conservation of biodiversity is essential for human survival and the maintenance of ecosystem processes. Despite some conservation successes (especially at local scales) and increasing public and government interest in living sustainably, biodiversity continues to decline. Moving beyond 2010, successful conservation approaches need to be reinforced and adequately financed. In addition, however, more radical changes are required that recognize biodiversity as a global public good, that integrate biodiversity conservation into policies and decision frameworks for resource production and consumption, and that focus on wider institutional and societal changes to enable more effective implementation of policy.
Article
Full-text available
Global conservation assessments require information on the distribution of biodiversity across the planet. Yet this information is often mapped at a very coarse spatial resolution relative to the scale of most land-use and management decisions. Furthermore, such mapping tends to focus selectively on better-known elements of biodiversity (e.g., vertebrates). We introduce a new approach to describing and mapping the global distribution of terrestrial biodiversity that may help to alleviate these problems. This approach focuses on estimating spatial pattern in emergent properties of biodiversity (richness and compositional turnover) rather than distributions of individual species, making it well suited to lesser-known, yet highly diverse, biological groups. We have developed a global biodiversity model linking these properties to mapped ecoregions and fine-scale environmental surfaces. The model is being calibrated progressively using extensive biological data sets for a wide variety of taxa. We also describe an analytical approach to applying our model in global conservation assessments, illustrated with a preliminary analysis of the representativeness of the world's protected-area system. Our approach is intended to complement, not compete with, assessments based on individual species of particular conservation concern.
Article
Full-text available
The realization of conservation goals requires strategies for managing whole landscapes including areas allocated to both production and protection. Reserves alone are not adequate for nature conservation but they are the cornerstone on which regional strategies are built. Reserves have two main roles. They should sample or represent the biodiversity of each region and they should separate this biodiversity from processes that threaten its persistence. Existing reserve systems throughout the world contain a biased sample of biodiversity, usually that of remote places and other areas that are unsuitable for commercial activities. A more systematic approach to locating and designing reserves has been evolving and this approach will need to be implemented if a large proportion of today's biodiversity is to exist in a future of increasing numbers of people and their demands on natural resources.
Article
Full-text available
Introduces Global 200, a representation of habitat types on a global scale for environmental conservation. Stratification of ecoregions by realms; Boundaries of terrestrial ecoregions; Variation of ecoregions according to biological distinctiveness; Terrestrial ecoregion boundaries.
Article
Full-text available
To protect the world's threatened and endangered species, it is necessary that appropriate tools be available to assist decision-makers in achieving their conservation management goals. We examine the range of approaches used in priority setting and evaluation in conservation management by reviewing the conservation, economic, and environmental policy literature on the evaluation of conservation efforts. We then identify the circumstances under which these approaches are applied, assess the strengths and weaknesses of their use, and make suggestions for the further inclusion of economic factors in priority setting and evaluation. We found two major areas where evaluation and prioritization occur in conservation management: the initial prioritization for conservation action and the eventual evaluation of project and program effectiveness. The two main questions considered to date are (1) What and where are the priority areas or species that require conservation management? and (2) How effective are different management interventions and techniques in the conservation of areas and species? Because neither question addresses the need for measures that compare outputs or considers the costs of management, the full range of costs involved in making informed choices is not considered properly. We argue that decision-makers need to ask (1) Where should scarce resources be invested in conservation management? and (2) Which investments in conservation management have been the most successful? To answer these questions, decision-makers need to use cost-effectiveness analysis and cost-utility analysis to improve the conservation of threatened and endangered species.
Article
Full-text available
Efforts at species conservation in the United States have tended to be opportunistic and uncoordinated. Recently, however, ecologists and economists have begun to develop more systematic approaches. Here, the problem of efficiently allocating scarce conservation resources in the selection of sites for biological reserves is addressed. With the use of county-level data on land prices and the incidence of endangered species, it is shown that accounting for heterogeneity in land prices results in a substantial increase in efficiency in terms of either the cost of achieving a fixed coverage of species or the coverage attained from a fixed budget.
Article
Full-text available
We strongly support initiatives to produce clear, efficient and practical goals for conservation to guide biodiversity planners and decision-makers in governments, agencies, conventions and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). However, as things stand there is only limited consensus on global conservation priorities at international level. We believe that the time is now right for scientists and practitioners to work together to develop a commonly adopted blueprint for action.
Article
Full-text available
Most of the world's biodiversity occurs within developing countries that require donor support to build their conservation capacity. Unfortunately, some of these countries experience high levels of political corruption, which may limit the success of conservation projects by reducing effective funding levels and distorting priorities. We investigated whether changes in three well surveyed and widespread components of biodiversity were associated with national governance scores and other socio-economic measures. Here we show that governance scores were correlated with changes in total forest cover, but not with changes in natural forest cover. We found strong associations between governance scores and changes in the numbers of African elephants and black rhinoceroses, and these socio-economic factors explained observed patterns better than any others. Finally, we show that countries rich in species and identified as containing priority areas for conservation have lower governance scores than other nations. These results stress the need for conservationists to develop and implement policies that reduce the effects of political corruption and, in this regard, we question the universal applicability of an influential approach to conservation that seeks to ban international trade in endangered species.
Article
Full-text available
Several international conservation organizations have recently produced global priority maps to guide conservation activities and spending in their own and other conservation organizations. Surprisingly, it is not possible to directly evaluate the relationship between priorities and spending within a given organization because none of the organizations with global priority models tracks how they spend their money relative to their priorities. We were able, however to evaluate the spending patterns of five other large biodiversity conservation organizations without their own published global priority models and investigate the potential influence of priority models on this spending. On average, countries with priority areas received greater conservation investment; global prioritization systems, however explained between only 2 and 32% of the U.S. dollars 1.5 billion spent in 2002, depending on whether the United States was removed from analyses and whether conservation spending was adjusted by the per capita gross domestic product within each country. We also found little overlap in the spending patterns of the five conservation organizations evaluated, suggesting that informal coordination or segregation of effort may be occurring. Our results also highlight a number of potential gaps and mismatches in how limited conservation funds are spent and provide the first audit of global conservation spending patterns. More explicit presentation of conservation priorities by organizations currently withoutpriority models and better tracking of spending by those with published priorities are clearly needed to help make future conservation activities as efficient as possible.
Article
Full-text available
Global biodiversity is under significant threat from the combined effects of human-induced climate and land-use change. Covering 12% of the Earth's terrestrial surface, protected areas are crucial for conserving biodiversity and supporting ecological processes beneficial to human well-being, but their selection and design are usually uninformed about future global change. Here, we quantify the exposure of the global reserve network to projected climate and land-use change according to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and set these threats in relation to the conservation value and capacity of biogeographic and geopolitical regions. We find that geographical patterns of past human impact on the land cover only poorly predict those of forecasted change, thus revealing the inadequacy of existing global conservation prioritization templates. Projected conservation risk, measured as regional levels of land-cover change in relation to area protected, is the greatest at high latitudes (due to climate change) and tropics/subtropics (due to land-use change). Only some high-latitude nations prone to high conservation risk are also of high conservation value, but their high relative wealth may facilitate additional conservation efforts. In contrast, most low-latitude nations tend to be of high conservation value, but they often have limited capacity for conservation which may exacerbate the global biodiversity extinction crisis. While our approach will clearly benefit from improved land-cover projections and a thorough understanding of how species range will shift under climate change, our results provide a first global quantitative demonstration of the urgent need to consider future environmental change in reserve-based conservation planning. They further highlight the pressing need for new reserves in target regions and support a much extended 'north-south' transfer of conservation resources that maximizes biodiversity conservation while mitigating global climate change.
Article
While conservation activities are underfunded almost everywhere, the gap between current expenditure and what is needed is particularly extreme in the tropics where threatened species and habitats are most concentrated. We examine how to bridge this funding gap. Firstly, we try to identify who in principle should pay, by comparing the spatial distribution of the costs and the benefits of tropical conservation. The immediate opportunity costs of conservation often exceed its more obvious, management-related costs, and are borne largely by local communities. Conversely, we argue that the greatest benefits of conservation derive from ecological services, and from option, existence, and bequest values; these are often widely dispersed and enjoyed in large part by wealthier national and global beneficiaries. We conclude that the gap in funding tropical conservation should be borne largely by national and especially global communities, who receive most benefit but currently pay least cost. In the second part of the paper we review recent developments in order to examine how in practice increased funding may be raised. There are many growing and novel sources of support: private philanthropy, premium pricing for biodiversity-related goods via certification schemes, and the development of entirely new markets for environmental services. Despite their potential, we conclude that the principal route for meeting the unmet costs of tropical conservation will have to be via governments, and will inevitably require the transfer of substantial resources from north to south. This will be enormously difficult, both politically and logistically, but without it we believe that much of what remains of tropical nature will be lost.
Article
A key issue for the success of international conventions regulating biodiversity conservation is to understand the different philosophical positions of each party for initially acceding to that convention, and for the measures each party takes to implement that convention. This paper documents policies for wildlife trade regulation in Mexico from the early 1980s to the early 2000s, with emphasis on the process of CITES implementation. Mexico was slow to adopt environmental policies, but when Mexico did recognize wider environmental concerns, the prospect of acceding to CITES was not considered because of existing bans on all wildlife trade in native species. However, Mexico could not control the illegal trade of wild species during the 1980s. Mexico acceded to CITES in 1991 mainly in response to international pressure and to bilateral pressure while seeking to join a free trade agreement. The step of joining CITES was taken without clear analysis about the consequences of being a party to the Convention. Between 1992 and 1996, Mexico had no clear policy about its role within CITES. The period from 1997 to 2001 witnessed an improved legal and administrative structure and a greater internal coordination between the institutions involved with CITES. Mexico has now improved its policy toward international wildlife trade.
Article
The rapid loss of tropical forests throughout the world and the widely recognized "biodiversity crisis" have spurred various nongovernmental conservation organizations and international agencies to develop strategies for protecting natural habitats. But the scale of the crisis is so daunting that conservationists widely accept the need for some sort of triage, whereby limited funds go to the places where the greatest good can be done. Experts have explored various ways to set priorities, and almost without exception, rainforests get top billing. The reason is simple: These tropical ecosystems harbor more unique species than any other habitat or place. Identifying and protecting such "biodiversity hotspots" has thus become the reigning scientific paradigm among conservationists. Biodiversity hotspots are regions with unusually high concentrations of endemic species (species that are found nowhere else on Earth) that also have suffered severe habitat destruction. Norman Myers, an environmentalist affiliated with the University of Oxford, first coined this term in a scholarly paper he wrote in 1988. Now, virtually every textbook on conservation biology contains a map of the world's biodiversity hotspots. Although lush tropical rainforests first leap to mind, oceanic islands and Mediterranean ecosystems such as those found in California, South Africa and Australia are also considered hotspots because they, too, show exceptionally high rates of plant endemism. The hotspot concept has been extremely effective at directing international funding and philanthropy. Given this success, we think it worth pausing to examine the scientific foundation of this conservation strategy and to consider what the consequences of this concept may be for the huge expanses of the planet that it leaves out in the cold—places we might dub biodiversity "coldspots."
Article
The dominant approach to conservation in the 20th century was the establishment of protected areas from which people were excluded. However, in the 1980s, decentralised, community-based approaches to biodiversity conservation and natural resource management began to spread rapidly, especially in southern Africa. From the early 1990s, there has been a growing divide between proponents of community-based approaches to conservation (particularly community-based natural resource management, CBNRM) and those advocating a return to more traditional preservationist approaches to biodiversity conservation. Here we examine the growth of the community narrative and the subsequent revival of what we call the 'back to the barriers'movement. We discuss the importance of various actors and sets of policy ideas to this revival in Africa. Changes in narratives have had profound impacts upon conservation and natural resource management, livelihood strategies and political processes. We suggest that policy debate needs to become less formulaic if outcomes are to be positive.
Article
While conservation activities are underfunded almost everywhere, the gap between current expenditure and what is needed is particularly extreme in the tropics where threatened species and habitats are most concentrated. We examine how to bridge this funding gap. Firstly, we try to identify who in principle should pay, by comparing the spatial distribution of the costs and the benefits of tropical conservation. The immediate opportunity costs of conservation often exceed its more obvious, management-related costs, and are borne largely by local communities. Conversely, we argue that the greatest benefits of conservation derive from ecological services, and from option, existence, and bequest values; these are often widely dispersed and enjoyed in large part by wealthier national and global beneficiaries. We conclude that the gap in funding tropical conservation should be borne largely by national and especially global communities, who receive most benefit but currently pay least cost. In the second part of the paper we review recent developments in order to examine how in practice increased funding may be raised. There are many growing and novel sources of support: private philanthropy, premium pricing for biodiversity-related goods via certification schemes, and the development of entirely new markets for environmental services. Despite their potential, we conclude that the principal route for meeting the unmet costs of tropical conservation will have to be via governments, and will inevitably require the transfer of substantial resources from north to south. This will be enormously difficult, both politically and logistically, but without it we believe that much of what remains of tropical nature will be lost.
Article
The most influential conservation priority-setting approaches emphasize biodiversity and threats when deciding where to focus investment. However, socio-economic and political attributes of nations influence the effectiveness of conservation actions. A combination of biological and sociological variables in the context of a ‘return on investment’ framework for establishing conservation priorities was explored. While there was some overlap between megadiversity nations and return on investment priorities, only a few countries emerged as high priorities irrespective of which factors were included in the analysis. Conversely, some countries that ranked highly as priorities for conservation when focusing solely on biological metrics, did not rank highly when governance, population pressure, economic costs and conservation needs were considered (e.g. Colombia, Ecuador, Indonesia and Venezuela). No priority-setting scheme is a priori superior to alternative approaches. However, the analyses suggest that attention to governance and return on investment may alter biocentric assessments of ideal conservation investments.
Article
On the eve of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, it is timely to assess progress over the 10 years since its predecessor in Rio de Janeiro. Loss and degradation of remaining natural habitats has continued largely unabated. However, evidence has been accumulating that such systems generate marked economic benefits, which the available data suggest exceed those obtained from continued habitat conversion. We estimate that the overall benefit:cost ratio of an effective global program for the conservation of remaining wild nature is at least 100:1.
Article
Loss of biodiversity is one of the world's overriding environmental challenges. Reducing those losses by creating reserve networks is a cornerstone of global conservation and resource management. Historically, assembly of reserve networks has been ad hoc, but recently the focus has shifted to identifying optimal reserve networks. We show that while comprehensive reserve network design is best when the entire network can be implemented immediately, when conservation investments must be staged over years, such solutions actually may be sub-optimal in the context of biodiversity loss and uncertainty. Simple decision rules, such as protecting the available site with the highest irreplaceability or with the highest species richness, may be more effective when implementation occurs over many years.
Article
Vast gaps in available information on the spatial distribution of biodiversity pose a major challenge for regional conservation planning in many parts of the world. This problem is often addressed by basing such planning on various biodiversity surrogates. In some situations, distributional data for selected taxa may be used as surrogates for biodiversity as a whole. However, this approach is less effective in data-poor regions, where there may be little choice but to base conservation planning on some form of remote environmental mapping, derived, for example, from interpretation of satellite imagery or from numerical classification of abiotic environmental layers. Although this alternative approach confers obvious benefits in terms of cost-effectiveness and rapidity of application, problems may arise if congruence is poor between mapped land-classes and actual biological distributions. I propose three strategies for making more effective use of available biological data and knowledge to alleviate such problems by (1) more closely integrating biological and environmental data through predictive modeling, with increased emphasis on modeling collective properties of biodiversity rather than individual entities; (2) making more rigorous use of remotely mapped surrogates in conservation planning by incorporating knowledge of heterogeneity within land-classes, and of varying levels of distinctiveness between classes, into measures of conservation priority and achievement; and (3) using relatively data-rich regions as test-beds for evaluating the performance of surrogates that can be readily applied across data-poor regions.
Article
Our ability to identify cost-efficient priorities for conserving biological diversity is limited by the scarcity of data on conservation costs, particularly at fine scales. Here we address this issue using data for 139 terrestrial programs worldwide. We find that the annual costs of effective field-based conservation vary enormously, across seven orders of magnitude, from <$0.1 to >$1,000,000 per km(2). This variation can be closely predicted from positive associations between costs per unit area and an array of indices of local development. Corresponding measures of conservation benefit are limited but show opposing global trends, being higher in less developed parts of the world. The benefit-to-cost ratio of conservation is thus far greater in less developed regions, yet these are where the shortfall in current conservation spending is most marked. Substantially increased investment in tropical conservation is therefore urgently required if opportunities for cost-effective action are not to be missed.
Article
Governments could safeguard the world's biodiversity with a small fraction of the money they spend on environmentally harmful subsidies.
Mapping conservation investments http://www.cemefi.org/index.php?optionfiltered=com content&task=view&id=632&Ite-mid=19 Mapping spatial pattern in biodiversity for regional conservation planning: where to from here?
  • Castro G Locker
Castro G, Locker I Russell et al (2000) Mapping conservation investments. USAID, Biodiversity Support Program, World Bank CEMEFI (2006) http://www.cemefi.org/index.php?optionfiltered=com content&task=view&id=632&Ite-mid=19. Cited Aug 2006 CONABIO (1998) La diversidad bioló de Mé: Estudio de Paí. Comisió Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad, Mexico CONABIO (2000) Estrategia nacional sobre biodiversidad de Mé. Comisió Nacional para el Conoc-imiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad, Mexico Ferrier S (2002) Mapping spatial pattern in biodiversity for regional conservation planning: where to from here? Syst Biol 51(2):331–363. doi:10.1080/10635150252899806
Gaps and mismatches between global conservation priorities and spending Integrating economics into priority setting and evaluation in conservation man-agement Back to the barriers? changing narratives in biodiversity conservation Annual report for Annual report for
  • B Halpern
  • Pyke
  • Cr
  • Fox
  • He
Halpern B, Pyke CR, Fox HE et al (2006) Gaps and mismatches between global conservation priorities and spending. Conserv Biol 20(1):56–64. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2005.00258.x Hughey KFD et al (2003) Integrating economics into priority setting and evaluation in conservation man-agement. Conserv Biol 17(1):93–103. doi:10.1046/j.1523-1739.2003.01317.x Hutton J, Adams WM, Murombedzi JC (2005) Back to the barriers? changing narratives in biodiversity conservation. Forum Dev Stud (2):341–370 IADB (2003a) Annual report for 2003. http://www.iadb.org IADB (2003b) Annual report for 2004. http://www.iadb.org IADB (2003c) Annual report for 2005. http://www.iadb.org IMCO (2006) http://www.imco.org.mx/monitor.php. Accessed Sep 2006
Future battlegrounds for conservation under global change doi:10.1098/rspb It's time to work together and stop duplicating conservation efforts
  • Tm
  • Jetz
TM, Jetz W (2008) Future battlegrounds for conservation under global change. Proc R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 275:1261–1270. doi:10.1098/rspb.2007.1732 Mace GM (2000) It's time to work together and stop duplicating conservation efforts. Nature 405:393. doi: 10.1038/35013247 Biodivers Conserv (2009) 18:1421–1434
Mapping conservation investments. USAID, Biodiversity Support Program
  • G Castro
  • I Locker
  • Russell
Evaluación del financiamiento y consecución de apoyos y fondos en Áreas Naturales Protegidas de México: estudio de caso para 31 áreas selectas. Fondo Mexicano para la Conservación de la Naturaleza A.C. (FMCN)
  • R Pérez-Gil
  • F Jaramillo
Mapping more of terrestrial biodiversity for global conservation assessment
  • S Ferrier
Handbook of biodiversity valuation. A guide for policy makers
  • Oecd
Fondo Mexicano para la Conservación de la Naturaleza
  • Fmcn
Evaluación Independiente del Programa de Áreas Naturales Protegidas de México del GEF. Informe al Banco Mundial
  • A Putney
  • R Pérez-Gil
  • K Ceciliano
Annual review 2003. World Wide Fund for Nature
  • Wwf
Annual review 2004. World Wide Fund for Nature
  • Wwf
Working together; annual review 2003. World Wide Fund for Nature
  • Wwf