Standardized reporting of the costs of management interventions for biodiversity conservation
Iacona, Gwenllian D
Armsworth, Paul R
Fitzsimons, James A
Possingham, Hugh P
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Iacona, G. D., Sutherland, W., Mappin, B., Adams, V., Armsworth, P. R., Coleshaw, T., Cook, C., et al. (2018). Standardized reporting of the costs of management interventions for biodiversity conservation. Conservation Biology, 32 (5), 979-988. https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13195
Effective conservation management interventions must combat threats and deliver conservation benefits at costs that can be achieved within limited budgets. Considerable effort has focused on measuring the potential benefits of conservation interventions but explicit quantification of implementation costs has been rare. Even when costs have been quantified, haphazard and inconsistent reporting means that published values are difficult to interpret. This reporting deficiency hinders progress towards building a collective understanding of the costs of management interventions across projects, and thus limits our ability to identify efficient solutions to conservation problems or attract adequate funding. We address this challenge by proposing a standardized approach to describing costs reported for conservation interventions. These standards call for researchers and practitioners to ensure the cost data they collect and report on provide enough contextual information that readers and future users can interpret the data appropriately. We suggest these standards be adopted by major conservation organizations, conservation science institutions, and journals, so that cost reporting is comparable between studies. This would support shared learning and enhance our ability to identify and perform cost-effective conservation.
conservation accountancy, cost-benefit, effectiveness, conservation evidence, return-on-investment
Funding was provided by CEED (GDI and workshop), an ARC Laureate Fellowship (HPP, BM, VA and JM), Arcadia (WJS), the Natural Environment Research Council (LVD, NE/K015419/1; NE/N014472/1) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (AJP).
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13195
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/284157