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Effects of disputes and easement violations on the cost-effectiveness of land conservation.

Schuster R, Arcese P - PeerJ (2015)

Bottom Line: We explored the cost-effectiveness of conservation easements, defined here as the fraction of the high-biodiversity landscape potentially protected via investment in easements versus land purchase.We show that easement violation and dispute rates substantially affect the estimated long-term cost-effectiveness of an easement versus land purchase strategy.Our results suggest that conservation easements can outperform land purchase as a strategy to protect biodiversity as long as the rate of disputes and legal challenges is low, pointing to a critical need for monitoring data to reduce costs and maximize the value of conservation investments.

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Affiliation: Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences, University of British Columbia , Vancouver British Columbia , Canada.

ABSTRACT
Conservation initiatives to protect and restore valued species communities in human-dominated landscapes face challenges linked to their potential costs. Conservation easements on private land may represent a cost-effective alternative to land purchase, but long-term costs to monitor and enforce easements, or defend legal challenges, remain uncertain. We explored the cost-effectiveness of conservation easements, defined here as the fraction of the high-biodiversity landscape potentially protected via investment in easements versus land purchase. We show that easement violation and dispute rates substantially affect the estimated long-term cost-effectiveness of an easement versus land purchase strategy. Our results suggest that conservation easements can outperform land purchase as a strategy to protect biodiversity as long as the rate of disputes and legal challenges is low, pointing to a critical need for monitoring data to reduce costs and maximize the value of conservation investments.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Conservation Easement cost effectiveness.Long term cost effectiveness defined as rate of biodiversity protected divided by the reserve network cost. Values are relative to the baseline land purchase scenario. Solid lines represent mean values for each scenario, and the corresponding ribbons show minimum and maximum values for the 100 Marxan solutions.
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fig-2: Conservation Easement cost effectiveness.Long term cost effectiveness defined as rate of biodiversity protected divided by the reserve network cost. Values are relative to the baseline land purchase scenario. Solid lines represent mean values for each scenario, and the corresponding ribbons show minimum and maximum values for the 100 Marxan solutions.

Mentions: Given our results above, the cost-effectiveness of conservation easement versus land purchase scenarios was 2.8–3.3 times higher after 100 years (Fig. 2). However, a high annual dispute rate of 2.8% caused the cost-effectiveness of easement scenarios to approach that of land purchase (Fig. 2).


Effects of disputes and easement violations on the cost-effectiveness of land conservation.

Schuster R, Arcese P - PeerJ (2015)

Conservation Easement cost effectiveness.Long term cost effectiveness defined as rate of biodiversity protected divided by the reserve network cost. Values are relative to the baseline land purchase scenario. Solid lines represent mean values for each scenario, and the corresponding ribbons show minimum and maximum values for the 100 Marxan solutions.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4581774&req=5

fig-2: Conservation Easement cost effectiveness.Long term cost effectiveness defined as rate of biodiversity protected divided by the reserve network cost. Values are relative to the baseline land purchase scenario. Solid lines represent mean values for each scenario, and the corresponding ribbons show minimum and maximum values for the 100 Marxan solutions.
Mentions: Given our results above, the cost-effectiveness of conservation easement versus land purchase scenarios was 2.8–3.3 times higher after 100 years (Fig. 2). However, a high annual dispute rate of 2.8% caused the cost-effectiveness of easement scenarios to approach that of land purchase (Fig. 2).

Bottom Line: We explored the cost-effectiveness of conservation easements, defined here as the fraction of the high-biodiversity landscape potentially protected via investment in easements versus land purchase.We show that easement violation and dispute rates substantially affect the estimated long-term cost-effectiveness of an easement versus land purchase strategy.Our results suggest that conservation easements can outperform land purchase as a strategy to protect biodiversity as long as the rate of disputes and legal challenges is low, pointing to a critical need for monitoring data to reduce costs and maximize the value of conservation investments.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences, University of British Columbia , Vancouver British Columbia , Canada.

ABSTRACT
Conservation initiatives to protect and restore valued species communities in human-dominated landscapes face challenges linked to their potential costs. Conservation easements on private land may represent a cost-effective alternative to land purchase, but long-term costs to monitor and enforce easements, or defend legal challenges, remain uncertain. We explored the cost-effectiveness of conservation easements, defined here as the fraction of the high-biodiversity landscape potentially protected via investment in easements versus land purchase. We show that easement violation and dispute rates substantially affect the estimated long-term cost-effectiveness of an easement versus land purchase strategy. Our results suggest that conservation easements can outperform land purchase as a strategy to protect biodiversity as long as the rate of disputes and legal challenges is low, pointing to a critical need for monitoring data to reduce costs and maximize the value of conservation investments.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus