Economics and Land‐Use Change in Prioritizing Private Land Conservation
Abstract: Incentive‐based strategies such as conservation easements and short‐term management agreements are popular tools for conserving biodiversity on private lands. Billions of dollars are spent by government and private conservation organizations to support land conservation. Although much of conservation biology focuses on reserve design, these methods are often ineffective at optimizing the protection of biological benefits for conservation programs. Our review of the recent literature on protected‐area planning identifies some of the reasons why. We analyzed the site‐selection process according to three important components: biological benefits, land costs, and likelihood of land‐use change. We compared our benefit‐loss‐cost targeting approach with more conventional strategies that omit or inadequately address either land costs or likelihood of land‐use change. Our proposed strategy aims to minimize the expected loss in biological benefit due to future land‐use conversion while considering the full or partial costs of land acquisition. The implicit positive correlation between the likelihood of land‐use conversion and cost of land protection means high‐vulnerability sites with suitable land quality are typically more expensive than low‐vulnerability sites with poor land quality. Therefore, land‐use change and land costs need to be addressed jointly to improve spatial targeting strategies for land conservation. This approach can be extended effectively to land trusts and other institutions implementing conservation programs.
Understanding the Motivations, Satisfaction, and Retention of Landowners in Private Land Conservation Programs
Private land conservation is an increasingly popular approach to protect critical biodiversity. In the Western Cape Province of South Africa private land conservation is the focal strategy for CapeNature, the provincial conservation agency. Despite its importance, little is known about the drivers of landowner participation in the CapeNature program and how these varied motivations influence participant satisfaction and retention. Our psychometric survey of 75 enrolled landowners found that the highest ranked motivations to participate were Conservation and Place Attachment but Social Learning had a stronger influence on program satisfaction. Landowners participate to fulfill a motivation or set of motivations but their satisfaction and commitment may hinge on other unforeseen motivations or factors. Understanding the relationship between motivations, satisfaction, and commitment is necessary for a successful retention strategy in any conservation program, especially on private lands where success depends on landowner commitment. This research was incorporated into improving CapeNature's program delivery.
Assessment of soil erosion processes and farmer perception of land conservation in Debre Mewi watershed near Lake Tana, Ethiopia
Abstract Erosion is of great concern in the Ethiopian highlands. The objective of this study was to determine the soil erosion rates under actual farming conditions by measuring the dimensions and number of rills in 15 agricultural fields in the Debre Mewi watershed near Lake Tana, and to understand farmers’ attitudes towards land conservation through personal interviews with one-third of the watershed households. The annual rill erosion rate was 8 to 32 t ha−1. Greatest rates of erosion occurred at planting early in the season but became negligible in August. Major factors influencing land conservation decisions were the demand of labor and lack of technical support for implementing new conservation measures from experts.
Agricultural And Food Sciences, Environmental Science
Land conservation policies and income distribution: who bears the burden of our environmental efforts?
We analyze the impact of land conservation policies on income distribution using a two-sector model. We find that conservation policies can have important distributional effects through changes in rents and wages. We show how aggregate rents rise when protected areas increase despite the reduction of land availability. Simultaneously, real wages decrease in consequence of higher agricultural prices. These distributional changes also affect the efficiency of conservation policies since higher rents lead to deforestation elsewhere. Results suggest that Pareto improving compensation should also be aimed at agricultural workers.
Social context and the role of collaborative policy making for private land conservation
Recent decades have seen a proliferation of conservation programmes designed to encourage private landholders to protect and enhance biodiversity on their land. This paper reviews research emphasising the role of social context in shaping private land conservation (PLC) outcomes. We examine the potential for a collaborative policy-making process incorporating design and implementation of PLC programmes to reduce conflict between conservation agencies and landholders and increase community consensus around PLC issues. Collaborative partnerships nested at the sub-watershed governance level may represent the most appropriate geographic scale for engaging community interest, whilst linking PLC efforts to higher-level institutional frameworks.
Business, Political Science
Economics, extension and the adoption of land conservation innovations in agriculture
It is argued that there are three broad conditions that are necessary for an individual farmer to adopt a farming‐system innovation: awareness of the innovation, perception that it is feasible and worthwhile to trial the innovation, and perception that the innovation promotes the farmer’s objectives. Challenges involved in meeting each of these conditions are discussed, with particular attention to land conservation practices. In Australia, agricultural extension is the main method of intervention that has been used to promote land conservation. Insights from the framework presented here are used to suggest the particular types of approaches to agricultural extension that are most likely to contribute to positive outcomes.
Investing in Nature: Case Studies of Land Conservation in Collaboration with Business
One of the world's greatest treasures is its land. To protect that land for the future, a group of dedicated environmental entrepreneurs is pioneering a new set of tools for land conservation deals. Drawing on his vast experience in both business and land conservation at The Nature Conservancy, William Ginn offers a practical guide to the latest innovations and a road map to the most effective way to implement the ideas. From conservation investment banking, to new tax incentives that encourage companies to do the "right" thing, Ginn goes beyond theories to present real-world strategied to save land.
Characteristics, Motivations, and Management Actions of Landowners Engaged in Private Land Conservation in Larimer County Colorado
Abstract Nationwide, private land conservation (PLC) is on the rise. Land trusts, local government open space and natural area programs, and revised land use codes, as well as federal and state tax laws, combine to offer an increasing number of incentives and opportunities for landowners to consider. Such programs mitigate the loss of agricultural lands, wildlife habitat, and open space occurring as a result of development pressure. Larimer County, Colorado, has considerable development pressure and a diversity of voluntary and quasi-regulatory programs that stimulate PLC. This study probes the motivations, characteristics, and management practices of the landowners involved, and how these differ according to the mechanisms chosen to conserve private land. We surveyed all County landowners (grantors) who conserved private land using conservation easements, covenants, and cluster developments and interviewed a subset of those landowners. The typical grantor is older, married, well-educated, and likely retired. Five motivational domains were derived from responses to survey items. The natural resource protection domain was assigned the highest importance by participating landowners followed by community- mindedness, family commitments, financial incentives, and sustaining agricultural production. Motivations also differ significantly according to the type of conservation program utilized, geographic location, and the amount of land owned. Half of the respondents were found to be quite to fully engaged in management and monitoring activities. These and other findings may be useful to local governments and other entities engaged in private land conservation wishing to optimize available resources, the approaches, and practices used with different landowners.
Business, Environmental Science
What's in Noah's Wallet? Land Conservation Spending in the United States
ABSTRACT Previous estimates of the funding needed to secure a network of habitat conservation areas as defined by conservation planning efforts amount to approximately $5 billion to $8 billion per year over 40 years. We found that US federal and state spending on land conservation—which we use as a surrogate for habitat conservation spending—totaled $32 billion between 1992 and 2001. Moreover, state spending is very uneven geographically, with 80 percent of the investment coming from 20 percent of the states. Most of the federal investment is in short-term land-rental or cost-share programs rather than permanent easements or fee title acquisitions. These results suggest that the federal and state governments are not spending enough to create a network of habitat conservation areas, nor tracking spending or acreage adequately to determine the long-term effectiveness of this habitat conservation investment.
Business, Environmental Science, Economics
Locating financial incentives among diverse motivations for long-term private land conservation
A variety of policy instruments are used to promote the conservation of biodiversity on private land. These instruments are often employed in unison to encourage land stewardship beneficial for biodiversity across a broad range of program types, but questions remain about which instruments are the appropriate tools when seeking long-term change to land-management practice. Drawing on three case studies, two in Australia and one in South Africa, spanning various program types—a biodiverse carbon planting scheme, a covenanting program, and a voluntary stewardship program—we investigate the importance of financial incentives and other mechanisms from the landholder’s perspective. From participant interviews we find that landholders have preconceived notions of stewardship ethics. Motivations to enroll into a private land conservation program are not necessarily what drives ongoing participation, and continued delivery of multiple mechanisms will likely ensure long-term landholder engagement. Financial incentives are beneficial in lowering uptake costs to landholders but building landholder capacity, management assistance, linking participants to a network of conservation landholders, and recognition of conservation efforts may be more successful in fostering long-term biodiversity stewardship. Furthermore, we argue that diverse, multiple instrument approaches are needed to provide the flexibility required for dynamic, adaptive policy responses. We raise a number of key considerations for conservation organizations regarding the appropriate mix of financial and nonfinancial components of their programs to address long-term conservation objectives.
Environmental Science, Economics