IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Conserving Biodiversity - Institutions, Policies and Incentives


  • Carl Binning

    (CSIRO Wildlife and Ecology)


Biological diversity, a term that encapsulates all of life - the diversity of plants and animals and the places they live, has changed the way we think about nature conservation. The conservation of biodiversity demands that we understand the role of natural systems and ecological processes in sustaining landscapes. Landscapes and the issues embedded within them vary enormously from the protection of remote wilderness areas to maintaining the productivity of agricultural regions and the quality of life within cities. This report seeks to answer questions from an outsider's perspective about the roles central government, regional councils and the non-government sector should play in conserving biodiversity; how effective working partnerships with landholders should be developed; what the most appropriate policy mix is; and who should fund biodiversity conservation programmes. It draws on Australian and international experience in the management of biodiversity. In consultations with officials and stakeholders mixed views were expressed on whether holistic approaches to biodiversity conservation are required or whether a model of protection through dedicated public and private (covenanted) conservation reserves will be sufficient. The view taken in this report is that protection is necessary but not sufficient. Ultimately on- ground programmes are required that target and reward land managers who actively manage areas of indigenous biodiversity on their land. However, it is also necessary to understand the economic and social factors that are driving the land-uses and management practices that are causing the continuing loss of biodiversity. Successful approaches to biodiversity conservation require coordinated responses from all scales of management. The critical role of regional planning in balancing the need for scientific assessment, leadership and centralised planning from the "top down" with strategies for engaging landholders and local communities from the "bottom up" is highlighted. The Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) provides a solid framework for developing effective regional responses. However the challenges of coordination across spheres of government, clarification of regulation and engaging the non-government sector remain. A number of policy options, such as funding and tax incentives and capacity building, are suggested to address these.

Suggested Citation

  • Carl Binning, 2000. "Conserving Biodiversity - Institutions, Policies and Incentives," Treasury Working Paper Series 00/26, New Zealand Treasury.
  • Handle: RePEc:nzt:nztwps:00/26

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nzt:nztwps:00/26. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Web and Publishing Team, The Treasury). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.