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Optimal conservation investment for a biodiversity-rich agricultural landscape

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  • White, Ben
  • Sadler, Rohan

Abstract

This study develops a theoretical and empirical framework for optimal conservation planning using satellite land cover data and economic data from a farm survey. A case study is presented for a region within the South-west Australia Biodiversity Hotspot (Nature 403, 853). This Biodiversity Hotspot is a focus for conservation investment as it combines a relatively high level of biodiversity with severe threat to the biodiversity from agriculture. The conservation planning model developed determines the optimal set of bush fragments for conservation. This model can also be used to assess the trade-off between the budget and a vegetation species metric. Results from the case study show that, without an effective conservation scheme that at least fences fragments, significant plant biodiversity losses will occur in the North East Wheatbelt Regional Organisation of Councils region of the WA wheatbelt over a 10-year period. A perfect price discriminating auction scheme could reduce the costs of conservation by around 17 per cent relative to a fixed-payment scheme; however, a fixed payment on outcome (measured as change in the species metric) scheme represents a viable second-best alternative, to a conservation auction, where conservation spending is spatially targeted.

Suggested Citation

  • White, Ben & Sadler, Rohan, 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, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aareaj:204174
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.204174
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    Cited by:

    1. Frans P. Vries & Nick Hanley, 2016. "Incentive-Based Policy Design for Pollution Control and Biodiversity Conservation: A Review," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 63(4), pages 687-702, April.
    2. Drechsler, Martin, 2017. "Performance of Input- and Output-based Payments for the Conservation of Mobile Species," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 49-56.
    3. Reed, Mark S. & Moxey, Andrew & Prager, Katrin & Hanley, Nick & Skates, James & Bonn, Aletta & Evans, Chris D. & Glenk, Klaus & Thomson, Ken, 2014. "Improving the link between payments and the provision of ecosystem services in agri-environment schemes," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 9(C), pages 44-53.
    4. Zabel, Astrid, 2019. "Biodiversity-based payments on Swiss alpine pastures," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 153-159.
    5. Ben White & Nick Hanley, 2016. "Should We Pay for Ecosystem Service Outputs, Inputs or Both?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 63(4), pages 765-787, April.
    6. Chaplin, S.P. & Mills, J. & Chiswell, H., 2021. "Developing payment-by-results approaches for agri-environment schemes: Experience from an arable trial in England," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 109(C).
    7. Ben White & Nick Hanley, 2014. "Should We Pay for Ecosystem Service Outputs, Actions or Both?," Discussion Papers in Environment and Development Economics 2014-08, University of St. Andrews, School of Geography and Sustainable Development.
    8. Boyd, James & Epanchin-Niell, Rebecca & Siikamaki, Juha, 2012. "Conservation Return on Investment Analysis: A Review of Results, Methods, and New Directions," Discussion Papers dp-12-01, Resources For the Future.
    9. Shigeaki F. Hasegawa & Takenori Takada, 2019. "Probability of Deriving a Yearly Transition Probability Matrix for Land-Use Dynamics," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(22), pages 1-11, November.
    10. Bartkowski, Bartosz & Droste, Nils & Ließ, Mareike & Sidemo-Holm, William & Weller, Ulrich & Brady, Mark V., 2021. "Payments by modelled results: A novel design for agri-environmental schemes," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 102(C).

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