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Does a voluntary conservation program result in a representative protected area network?: The case of Finnish privately owned forests

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  • Juutinen, Artti
  • Mönkkönen, Mikko
  • Ylisirniö, Anna-Liisa
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    Abstract

    Conservation contracting has attained growing interest worldwide as a tool for protecting biodiversity in privately owned lands. In this policy, landowners receive payments from an environmental agency in exchange for land use practices that contribute to the supply of biodiversity. This approach may result in a conservation network which does not cover all focal ecological characteristics, because landowners determine the supply of potential targets. In addition, the contracts are typically allocated by using a scoring method that is not giving information on the representativeness of the species composition of the sites. In this study, we investigated what is the performance of a voluntary conservation program in selecting sites that would maximize the number of specific target species in the selected conservation network subject to a given budget constraint. We focused on the Finnish pilot program named Trading in Natural Values (TNV). Our data consisted of 56 mature stands covering both stands that were offered to the TNV program and stands that were not offered. All the stands were surveyed for specific groups of wood-inhabiting fungi and epiphytic lichens that can be considered as good surrogates for forest species diversity. Our results showed that the participation in the TNV program was large enough to meet the ecological goals, because the offered targets uncovered only two of the 73 surveyed species, and the cost-effective conservation network included only a few targets that were not offered in the pilot program. However, the contract allocation method used in the TNV could be improved, because many ecologically valuable targets that were offered to the program were not accepted. In general, it could be justified to survey some indicator species, which would be relatively easy to identify, to maximize species coverage in contract allocation. Surveying indicator species causes some extra costs, but these are likely to be minor compared with the costs savings in opportunity costs, due to the improved targeting of protected areas.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

    Volume (Year): 68 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 12 (October)
    Pages: 2974-2984

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:68:y:2009:i:12:p:2974-2984

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

    Related research

    Keywords: Biodiversity Conservation contracting Forest conservation Site selection;

    References

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    1. Uwe Latacz-Lohmann & Carel Van der Hamsvoort, 1997. "Auctioning Conservation Contracts: A Theoretical Analysis and an Application," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(2), pages 407-418.
    2. Ferraro, Paul J., 2008. "Asymmetric information and contract design for payments for environmental services," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(4), pages 810-821, May.
    3. Gary Stoneham & Vivek Chaudhri & Arthur Ha & Loris Strappazzon, 2003. "Auctions for conservation contracts: an empirical examination of Victoria's BushTender trial," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 47(4), pages 477-500, December.
    4. Robert N. Stavins, 1999. "The Costs of Carbon Sequestration: A Revealed-Preference Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 994-1009, September.
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    6. Juutinen, Artti & Monkkonen, Mikko, 2004. "Testing alternative indicators for biodiversity conservation in old-growth boreal forests: ecology and economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1-2), pages 35-48, September.
    7. Martin Whitby & Caroline Saunders, 1996. "Estimating the Supply of Conservation Goods in Britain: A Comparison of the Financial Efficiency of Two Policy Instruments," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 72(3), pages 313-325.
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    13. Stephen Polasky & Jeffrey D. Camm & Brian Garber-Yonts, 2001. "Selecting Biological Reserves Cost-Effectively: An Application to Terrestrial Vertebrate Conservation in Oregon," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 77(1), pages 68-78.
    14. Connor, Jeffery D. & Ward, John R. & Bryan, Brett, 2008. "Exploring the cost effectiveness of land conservation auctions and payment policies," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 52(3), September.
    15. Parkhurst, Gregory M. & Shogren, Jason F. & Bastian, Chris & Kivi, Paul & Donner, Jennifer & Smith, Rodney B. W., 2002. "Agglomeration bonus: an incentive mechanism to reunite fragmented habitat for biodiversity conservation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 305-328, May.
    16. Juha Siikamäki & David F. Layton, 2007. "Potential Cost-Effectiveness of Incentive Payment Programs for the Protection of Non-Industrial Private Forests," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 83(4), pages 539-560.
    17. Langpap, Christian & Wu, JunJie, 2004. "Voluntary conservation of endangered species: when does no regulatory assurance mean no conservation?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 435-457, May.
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    Cited by:
    1. Juutinen, Artti & Mäntymaa, Erkki & Ollikainen, Markku, 2013. "Landowners’ conservation motives and the size of information rents in environmental bidding systems," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 128-148.

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