Policy-driven versus evidence-based conservation: A review of political targets and biological needs

Svancara, Leona K., Brannon, Ree, Scott, J. Michael, Groves, Craig R., Noss, Reed F., and Pressey, Bob (2005) Policy-driven versus evidence-based conservation: A review of political targets and biological needs. BioScience, 55 (11). pp. 989-995.

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“How much is enough?” is a question that conservationists, scientists, and policymakers have struggled with for years in conservation planning. To answer this question, and to ensure the long-term protection of biodiversity, many have sought to establish quantitative targets or goals based on the percentage of area in a country or region that is conserved. In recent years, policy-driven targets have frequently been faulted for their lack of biological foundation. In this manuscript, we reviewed 159 articles reporting or proposing 222 conservation targets and assessed differences between policy-driven and evidence-based approaches. Our findings suggest that the average percentages of area recommended for evidence-based targets were nearly three times as high as those recommended in policy-driven approaches. Implementing a minimalist, policy-driven approach to conservation could result in unanticipated decreases in species numbers and increases in the number of endangered species.

Item ID: 10223
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1525-3244
Keywords: biodiversity, conservation goals, conservation targets, policy, science
Date Deposited: 05 May 2010 01:46
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation > 960605 Institutional Arrangements for Environmental Protection @ 100%
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