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

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-12-01
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    File URL: http://www.rff.org/RFF/documents/RFF-DP-12-01.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Kousky, Carolyn & Walls, Margaret, 2014. "Floodplain conservation as a flood mitigation strategy: Examining costs and benefits," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 119-128.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    return on investment; conservation planning; reserve site selection;

    JEL classification:

    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
    • Q30 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics

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