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Leading scientists design new framework for biodiversity conservation

ing of changing market dynamics and landowner's choices," says Possingham.

"Developers and industry do a far better job of predicting land availability and creating investment opportunities than do conservationists," says Andelman. "Right now conservation planners aren't even using realistic data for the cost of land."

Andelmen and Possingham are now leading the charge to revamp this static approach. They are developing new collaborations with economists to incorporate market uncertainty and bet-hedging strategies methods routinely used by investment bankers and stock brokers into conservation plans.

"It goes beyond conservation science to human psychology figuring out how we can get the pieces of land with the biggest conservation impact. It requires data conservationists have not historically collected: property values and understanding what will motivate a landowner to sell, and it changes the places that become priorities. In an ever changing world, this will have a better success rate in helping the 40% of threatened vertebrates that have no habitat protection."

"For 20 years the theory of conservation planning proceeded on the assumption that the world is static," says Possingham. "Assuming the world is static, economically and ecologically, is absurd. This paper ushers in a new era of conservation planning theory and practice that can account for uncertainty and dynamics in the real world."


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14-Jul-2004


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