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Optimal conservation investment for a biodiversity‐rich agricultural landscape

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  • Ben White
  • Rohan Sadler

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.
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Suggested Citation

  • 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, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ajarec:v:56:y:2012:i:1:p:1-21
    DOI: j.1467-8489.2011.00567.x
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1467-8489.2011.00567.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1993. "A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121743, January.
    2. Stoneham, Gary & Chaudhri, Vivek & Ha, Arthur & Strappazzon, Loris, 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), December.
    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. Zabel, Astrid & Roe, Brian, 2009. "Optimal design of pro-conservation incentives," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 126-134, November.
    5. Christoph H. Loch & Stylianos Kavadias, 2002. "Dynamic Portfolio Selection of NPD Programs Using Marginal Returns," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(10), pages 1227-1241, October.
    6. Adam Ozanne & Ben White, 2008. "Hidden action, risk aversion and variable fines in agri-environmental schemes ," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 52(2), pages 203-212, June.
    7. Rui R. Zhao, 2008. "All-or-Nothing Monitoring," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1619-1628, September.
    8. JunJie Wu & Bruce A. Babcock, 1996. "Contract Design for the Purchase of Environmental Goods from Agriculture," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(4), pages 935-945.
    9. Bruce A. Craig & Peter P. Sendi, 2002. "Estimation of the transition matrix of a discrete-time Markov chain," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(1), pages 33-42.
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    Citations

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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. repec:eee:ecoser:v:9:y:2014:i:c:p:44-53 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.

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