Integrating quantitative and qualitative data in assessing the cost-effectiveness of biodiversity conservation programmes

Z Austin, A McVittie, DI McCracken, A Moxey, D Moran, PCL White

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)
    3 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Globally, most biodiversity conservation programmes are not currently evaluated in terms of their costs and benefits, or their rate of return on the original investment. Assessing the cost-effectiveness of such schemes is challenging as the relationship between spending and the effectiveness of conservation is dependent on many biological and socioeconomic factors. Here, we evaluate the cost-effectiveness of a selection of species and habitat conservation schemes undertaken through the Scotland Rural Development Programme. We use a combination of quantitative and qualitative data, based on expert knowledge, to estimate effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of different schemes and understand variations in the results. Our findings highlight a lack of geographical targeting in terms of where the funding might achieve the most conservation benefit, which may be contributing to high costs per unit of effectiveness. Recommendations include the need for improved advice on appropriate management and monitoring programmes that are linked closely to objectives. Conservation schemes within Scotland were used as the focus of the study, but the approaches used, interpretations drawn and improvements identified could be applied to any regional, national or international biodiversity conservation programmes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1359 - 1375
    Number of pages17
    JournalBiodiversity and Conservation
    Volume24
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusFirst published - 2015

    Bibliographical note

    2061589
    1023311

    Keywords

    • Agri-environment schemes
    • Conservation monitoring
    • Conservation objectives
    • Conservation planning
    • Expert knowledge
    • Scotland Rural Development Programme
    • Stakeholder engagement

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Integrating quantitative and qualitative data in assessing the cost-effectiveness of biodiversity conservation programmes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this