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Economic analyses to aid nature conservation decision making

Cullen, R
Hughey, Kenneth
Fairburn, G
Moran, E
Journal Article
Fields of Research
ANZSRC::3103 Ecology , ANZSRC::3109 Zoology , ANZSRC::4104 Environmental management
Nature conservation can often be costly and the resources available are often less than are required. Resource allocations and expenditures for nature conservation have an opportunity cost in terms of foregone projects, but are rarely subjected to as much scrutiny as other public activities. Failure to apply economic tools to nature conservation decision making can result in errors in project selection, wasted use of scarce resources, and lower levels of conservation than it is possible to achieve from the resources available. In some instances where economics has been proposed for use in nature conservation research, the methodologies applied provide information that is of limited usefulness to decision makers. Non-market valuation has limited potential to help in nature conservation decision making, is costly to complete and should be supplanted by more useful techniques that focus on the cost and the payoff from nature conservation actions. In contrast, Cost Effectiveness Analysis and Cost Utility Analysis are practical tools that can provide valuable information for conservation decision makers and improve conservation achievement.
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