An agglomeration payment for cost-effective biodiversity conservation in spatially structured landscapes
Connected habitats are ecologically more valuable than isolated habitats for many species. A key challenge when designing payments for biodiversity in fragmented landscapes is to increase the spatial connectivity of habitats. Based on the idea of an agglomeration bonus we consider a scheme in which land-owners only receive payments if habitats are arranged in an ecologically favourable configuration. We compare the cost-effectiveness of agglomeration payments to spatially homogeneous payments on a conceptual level. Our results suggest that positive efficiency gains exist for agglomeration payments. We use Large Blue butterfly habitat in Germany as a specific case study, and find the agglomeration payments may lead to cost-savings of nearly 70% relative to homogenous payments.
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