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Setting conservation priorities in multi-actor systems

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O'Bryan, C. J., Rhodes, J. R., Osunkoya, O. O., Lundie-Jenkins, G., Mudiyanselage, N. A., Sydes, T., Calvert, M., McDonald-Madden, E. and Bode, M. (2023) Setting conservation priorities in multi-actor systems. BioScience, 73 (7). pp. 522-532. ISSN 0006-3568


Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biad046

Publisher URL: https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/article/73/7/522/7226303


Nature conservation is underresourced, requiring managers to prioritize where, when, and how to spend limited funds. Prioritization methods identify the subset of actions that provide the most benefit to an actor's objective. However, spending decisions by conservation actors are often misaligned with their objectives. Although this misalignment is frequently attributed to poor choices by the actors, we argue that it can also be a byproduct of working alongside other organizations. Using strategic analyses of multi-actor systems in conservation, we show how interactions among multiple conservation actors can create misalignment between the spending and objectives of individual actors and why current uncoordinated prioritizations lead to fewer conservation objectives achieved for individual actors. We draw three conclusions from our results. First, that misalignment is an unsuitable metric for evaluating spending, because it may be necessary to achieve actors’ objectives. Second, that current prioritization methods cannot identify optimal decisions (as they purport to do), because they do not incorporate other actors’ decisions. Third, that practical steps can be taken to move actors in the direction of coordination and thereby better achieve their conservation objectives.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland
Business groups:Biosecurity Queensland
Subjects:Science > Invasive Species > Plants
Science > Invasive Species > Plants > Impact assessment
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural conservation
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Conservation of natural resources
Live Archive:04 Sep 2023 04:42
Last Modified:04 Sep 2023 04:42

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