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Paul Armsworth Seminar: The ecological benefits and economic costs of protected areas
October 28, 2016 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pmFree
Join us for a seminar about ecological benefits and economic costs of protected areas featuring Paul Armsworth, an ecologist and conservation biologist from the University of Tennessee.
Protected areas provide a corner-stone in efforts to conserve biodiversity in the face of ongoing habitat loss and degradation. Existing protected area networks need to be greatly expanded if we are to meet species and habitat conservation goals. However, available funding to support the establishment of protected areas is limited and it is imperative that what funds are available are targeted in ways that provide the greatest conservation gain per dollar invested. To do so, conservation organizations need to consider both the economic costs and ecological benefits of protecting land. Using as a case study, areas protected in the US by The Nature Conservancy, a nonprofit land trust, I examine how considering costs and benefits of protected areas together changes recommendations regarding what locations should be priorities for protection and how protected areas should be designed. I also show how recommendations one would arrive at regarding protected area design depend on the “quality” of cost and benefit data used and the particular choice of conservation target. Finally, I outline ways that the science behind conservation planning can become more relevant to the practice of land protection moving forward.