Conservation increasingly needs to compete with other areas of public expenditure, placing further demands on evidence of its effectiveness and efficiency. The ability to plan cost-effective actions and demonstrate value for money has therefore become critically important. However, there has been limited uptake of economic principles and techniques in the conservation sciences. Dean’s PhD research focussed on issues of cost-effectiveness in the conservation of biodiversity in agricultural landscapes, from a global review of the integration of economics in the agri-environmental literature to a comparison of the efficiency of revegetation and remnant vegetation protection for the conservation of woodland birds. This research identified the various factors that influence cost-effectiveness of biodiversity conservation on farms, highlighting the importance of appropriate measures of conservation effectiveness and the significant conservation gains that can be made with available budgets through the use of simple economic evaluation techniques.
About the speaker
Dean has worked on natural resource management issues for more than 15 years. After studying bird behaviour for his Honours degree at ANU, he led numerous programs aimed at the conservation of freshwater biodiversity and sustainable water resource use at the Murray-Darling Basin Authority. He has also worked on threatened species, community protected area management and sustainable livelihoods projects internationally. His PhD thesis explored the efficiency of different conservation actions on farms, with a strong focus on agri-environment schemes both in Australia and elsewhere around the world. Dean will shortly commence work with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service where he will be managing threatened species conservation projects in southern NSW.