How conservation initiatives go to scale

Mills, Morena, Bode, Michael, Mascia, Michael B., Weeks, Rebecca, Gelcich, Stefan, Dudley, Nigel, Govan, Hugh, Archibald, Carla L., Romero-de-Diego, Cristina, Holden, Matthew, Biggs, Duan, Glew, Louise, Naidoo, Robin, and Possingham, Hugh P. (2019) How conservation initiatives go to scale. Nature Sustainability, 2 (10). pp. 935-940.

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Abstract

Although a major portion of the planet's land and sea is managed to conserve biodiversity, little is known about the extent, speed and patterns of adoption of conservation initiatives. We undertook a quantitative exploration of how area-based conservation initiatives go to scale by analysing the adoption of 22 widely recognized and diverse initiatives from across the globe. We use a standardized approach to compare the potential of different initiatives to reach scale. While our study is not exhaustive, our analyses reveal consistent patterns across a variety of initiatives: adoption of most initiatives (82% of our case studies) started slowly before rapidly going to scale. Consistent with diffusion of innovation theory, most initiatives exhibit slow-fast-slow (that is, sigmoidal) dynamics driven by interactions between existing and potential adopters. However, uptake rates and saturation points vary among the initiatives and across localities. Our models suggest that the uptake of most of our case studies is limited; over half of the initiatives will be taken up by <30% of their potential adopters. We also provide a methodology for quantitatively understanding the process of scaling. Our findings inform us how initiatives scale up to widespread adoption, which will facilitate forecasts of the future level of adoption of initiatives, and benchmark their extent and speed of adoption against those of our case studies.

Item ID: 60857
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2398-9629
Copyright Information: © The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited 2019.
Funders: ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, Margaret A. Cargill Foundation
Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2019 07:36
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 100%
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