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Conservation Return on Investment Analysis: A Review of Results, Methods, and New Directions

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  • Boyd, James

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

  • Epanchin-Niell, Rebecca

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

  • Siikamaki, Juha

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

Abstract

Conservation investments are increasingly evaluated on the basis of their return on investment (ROI). Conservation ROI analysis quantitatively measures the costs, benefits, and risks of investments so conservancies can rank or prioritize them. This paper surveys the existing conservation ROI and related literatures. We organize our synthesis around the way studies treat recurring, core elements of ROI, as a guide for practitioners and consumers of future ROI analyses. ROI analyses involve quantification of a consistent set of elements, including the definition and measurement of the conservation objective as well as identification of the relevant baselines, the type of conservation investments evaluated, and investment costs. We document the state of the art, note some open questions, and provide suggestions for future improvements in data and methods. We also describe ways ROI analysis can be extended to a broader suite of conservation outcomes than biodiversity conservation, which is the typical focus.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-12-01.

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Date of creation: 11 Jan 2012
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-12-01

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Related research

Keywords: return on investment; conservation planning; reserve site selection;

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References

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  1. Costello, Christopher & Polasky, Stephen, 2004. "Dynamic reserve site selection," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 157-174, June.
  2. Ben White & Rohan Sadler, 2012. "Optimal conservation investment for a biodiversity‐rich agricultural landscape," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 56(1), pages 1-21, 01.
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  7. Adina M. Merenlender, 2006. "Habitat and Open Space at Risk of Land-Use Conversion: Targeting Strategies for Land Conservation," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 88(1), pages 28-42.
  8. Paul J. Ferraro, 2003. "Assigning priority to environmental policy interventions in a heterogeneous world," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(1), pages 27-43.
  9. Kerrie A Wilson & Emma C Underwood, 2007. "Conserving Biodiversity Efficiently: What to Do, Where, and When," Working Papers id:1202, eSocialSciences.
  10. 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.
  11. Boyd, James & Krupnick, Alan, 2009. "The Definition and Choice of Environmental Commodities for Nonmarket Valuation," Discussion Papers dp-09-35, Resources For the Future.
  12. Newburn, David A. & Berck, Peter & Merenlender, Adina, 2004. "Spatial Targeting Strategies For Land Conservation," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 20206, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  13. David Layton & Juha Siikamäki, 2009. "Payments for Ecosystem Services Programs: Predicting Landowner Enrollment and Opportunity Cost Using a Beta-Binomial Model," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 44(3), pages 415-439, November.
  14. Boyd, James & Banzhaf, H. Spencer, 2006. "What Are Ecosystem Services?," Discussion Papers dp-06-02, Resources For the Future.
  15. Babcock, Bruce A. & Lakshminarayan, P. G. & Wu, J. & Zilberman, David, 1997. "Targeting Tools for the Purchase of Environmental Amenities," Staff General Research Papers 5220, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  16. Robert Johnston, 2007. "Choice experiments, site similarity and benefits transfer," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 38(3), pages 331-351, November.
  17. Stephen Polasky & Erik Nelson & Derric Pennington & Kris Johnson, 2011. "The Impact of Land-Use Change on Ecosystem Services, Biodiversity and Returns to Landowners: A Case Study in the State of Minnesota," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 48(2), pages 219-242, February.
  18. Montgomery Claire A. & Brown Jr. , Gardner M. & Adams Darius M., 1994. "The Marginal Cost of Species Preservation: The Northern Spotted Owl," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 111-128, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kousky, Carolyn & Walls, Margaret & Chu, Ziyan, 2013. "Flooding and Resilience: Valuing Conservation Investments in a World with Climate Change," Discussion Papers dp-13-38, Resources For the Future.
  2. Kousky, Carolyn & Walls, Margaret, 2013. "Floodplain Conservation as a Flood Mitigation Strategy: Examining Costs and Benefits," Discussion Papers dp-13-22, Resources For the Future.
  3. Kousky, Carolyn & Walls, Margaret, 2013. "Floodplain Conservation as a Flood Mitigation Strategy: Examining Costs and Benefits," Discussion Papers dp-13-22-rev, Resources For the Future.

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