Factors influencing property selection for conservation revolving funds

Hardy, M, Fitzsimons, J, Bekessy, S and Gordon, A 2018, 'Factors influencing property selection for conservation revolving funds', Conservation Biology, vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 276-286.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

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Title Factors influencing property selection for conservation revolving funds
Author(s) Hardy, M
Fitzsimons, J
Bekessy, S
Gordon, A
Year 2018
Journal name Conservation Biology
Volume number 32
Issue number 2
Start page 276
End page 286
Total pages 11
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Abstract Finding sustainable ways to increase the amount of private land protected for biodiversity is a challenge for many conservation organizations. In a number of countries, organizations use 'revolving fund' programs, whereby land is purchased, and then on-sold to conservation-minded owners with a condition to enter into a conservation covenant or easement. The proceeds from sale are then used to purchase, protect and on-sell additional properties, incrementally increasing the amount of protected private land. As the effectiveness of this approach relies upon selecting the right properties, we sought to explore the factors currently considered by practitioners and how these are integrated into decision-making. We conducted exploratory, semi-structured interviews with managers from each of the five major revolving funds in Australia. Responses suggest that whilst conservation factors are important, financial and social factors are also highly influential, with a major determinant being whether the property can be on-sold within a reasonable timeframe, and at a price that replenishes the fund. To facilitate the on-sale process, often selected properties include the potential for the construction of a dwelling. Practitioners are faced with clear trade-offs between conservation, financial, amenity and other factors in selecting properties; and three main potential risks: difficulty recovering the costs of acquisition, protection, and resale; difficulty on-selling the property; and difficulty meeting conservation goals. Our findings suggest that the complexity of these decisions may be limiting revolving fund effectiveness. We draw from participant responses to identify potential strategies to mitigate the risks identified, and suggest that managers could benefit from a shared learning and adaptive approach to property selection given the commonalities between programs.
Subject Conservation and Biodiversity
Environment Policy
Keyword(s) conservation buyer
private land
Privately Protected Areas
DOI - identifier 10.1111/cobi.12991
Copyright notice © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology
ISSN 1523-1739
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