Locating financial incentives among diverse motivations for long-term private land conservation

Matthew J. Selinske, Benjamin Cooke, Nooshin Torabi, Mathew J. Hardy, Andrew T. Knight, Sarah A. Bekessy
  • Ecology and Society, January 2017, Resilience Alliance, Inc.
  • DOI: 10.5751/es-09148-220207

What is it about?

A variety of policy instruments are used to encourage private landholders to conserve biodiversity, but questions remain about which instruments are appropriate when seeking long-term changes to land-management practice. Drawing on three case studies, two in Australia and one in South Africa, in this paper we investigate the importance of financial incentives and other mechanisms from the landholder’s perspective. We find that the motivations of landholders to enrol into a private land conservation program are not necessarily those that drive ongoing participation. Financial incentives are good for lowering uptake costs to landholders, but building landholder capacity, management assistance, linking participants to a network of conservation landholders, and recognition of conservation efforts may be more successful in fostering long-term biodiversity stewardship.

Why is it important?

Identifying the appropriate mix of financial and non-financial components of private land conservation programs will help foster long-term landholder participation in private land conservation.


Mat Hardy
RMIT University

I found this a really interesting paper to be part of. I think policy-makers will find it useful when considering how to use financial incentives, and what other ways they can encourage ongoing land stewardship. And not just in Australia and South Africa.

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The following have contributed to this page: Mat Hardy and Ben Cooke