International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics > Vol 10 > Issue 2

Economics in Systematic Conservation Planning for Lower-income Countries: A Literature Review and Assessment

H. J. Albers, University of Wyoming, USA, , M. Maloney, University of Wyoming, USA, E. J. Z. Robinson, University of Reading, UK
Suggested Citation
H. J. Albers, M. Maloney and E. J. Z. Robinson (2017), "Economics in Systematic Conservation Planning for Lower-income Countries: A Literature Review and Assessment", International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics: Vol. 10: No. 2, pp 145-182.

Publication Date: 04 May 2017
© 2017 H. J. Albers, M. Maloney, and E. J. Z. Robinson
Environmental economics,  Public economics
JEL Codes: Q57Q56Q24Q15O13Q01
Parksnature reservesreserve site selectionsystematic conservation planningspatial prioritizationincomplete marketssustainable developmentproperty rightsenforcement


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In this article:
1. Introduction 
2. SCP on PA Siting/Sizing/Management 
3. Economics Literature on PA Siting/Sizing/Management and SCP 
4. SCP and Economic Analyses in Lower-Income Country Settings 
5. Integrating Economics and SCP: Addressing People 
6. Conclusion 


Lower-income countries contain much of the world’s biodiversity but often lack the institutions and resources for effective biodiversity conservation. Systematic conservation planning (SCP) frameworks provide tools to identify and implement conservation areas effectively and efficiently but rarely address issues central to lower-income countries, which limits SCP’s usefulness in these settings. This paper reviews SCP and discusses how to make SCP more relevant in lowerincome countries. Lower-income countries have small conservation budgets, imperfect measures of conservation costs and benefits, and unique institutions that all influence the siting, management, and implementation of protected area networks. In addition, these aspects of the lower-income country setting inform the reaction of people to a protected area, which determines the conservation effectiveness of the protected areas. Overall, the institutional and socioeconomic settings of lower-income countries create additional layers of complexity that should be incorporated into SCP frameworks at the stage of selecting reserve sites to improve the efficiency of conservation policies.