CIVICS/Quantitative Research Methods

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Stefan Schwarze

University of Goettingen, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Goettingen, Germany

Spring School - Integrative Conservation Planning in the South Caucasus - Tbilisi, March 05-10, 2012

Why do we need economic data for conservation planning?

  • Vast expansion of human activity during the last century
    • widespread conversion of natural habitat
    • many species are at risk of extinction
  • Large-scale anthropogenic threats to biodiversity, but only limited resources devoted to conservation.
  • Where to use the limited resources for conservation?
    • Maximize the conservation return on investment

Two domains for socio-economic assessments in conservation planning:

  • Understand the threat to biodiverstiy
    • Why do people change their land use?
  • Assess the costs of conservation
    • Which costs occur?

Costs of conservation

Acquisition and transaction costs: Costs involved buying the land

Management costs: Costs for managing the park (staff, vehicles, offices, etc.)

Damage costs: Damages of crops and livestock due to wild animals

Opportunity costs: Potential economic benefits from using the park area for economic activities instead of protecting it