Money and motives: an organizational ecology perspective on private land conservation

Clements, Hayley S., Baum, Julia, and Cumming, Graeme S. (2016) Money and motives: an organizational ecology perspective on private land conservation. Biological Conservation, 197. pp. 108-115.

[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website:


Analyses of institutions (rules, laws, traditions) and their relevance for conservation are increasingly common in conservation contexts. By contrast, the organizations that operate within the framework provided by institutions are less researched. We applied ideas from organizational ecology to understanding the economic strategies of private land conservation areas (PLCAs), and their sustainability. The biophysical and socioeconomic characteristics of 72 commercially-operated PLCAs in the Eastern and Western Cape Provinces of South Africa were used, via principal components and cluster analyses, to identify alternative business models. We found four distinct business models with different financial productivity and owner objectives. The most profitable models were (1) large ecotourism areas with many charismatic (megaherbivore/predator) and other (antelope) game species, expensive accommodation, and guided activities; and (2) small ecotourism areas with many charismatic game species, fewer other game species, short travel time from the nearest airport, guided activities and day visitors. The less profitable models were (3) hunting reserves, with 54% of owners seeking to generate profits but not doing so, creating a mismatch between financial objectives and financial returns; and (4) PLCAs with few game species and cheap accommodation/activities, which were similarly unprofitable although an absence of financial objectives limited mismatches to just 5%. Biophysical and socioeconomic incompatibilities between different business models make it difficult for PLCAs to change their business model if objectives are not met. Initial (and rational) choices of how to manage a natural resource can thus constrain future management options and the organization's ability to persist in a dynamic environment.

Item ID: 49259
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-2917
Keywords: conservation organizations, motives, organizational ecology, private land conservation, profitability, social-ecological mismatch
Funders: James S. McDonnell Foundation (JSMF), National Research Foundation (NRF-DAAD), Percy FitzPatrick Institute
Projects and Grants: JSMF Complexity Scholar Grant, NRF-DAAD scholarship
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2017 02:56
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410404 Environmental management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960799 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards not elsewhere classified @ 100%
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page