World Wide Web: Funding connectivity conservation under climate change
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Connectivity is one key to conservation under anthropogenic climate change. Shortfalls in financial and political support are more critical constraints than deficiencies in biological data. This applies especially for private lands in developed nations and public lands in developing nations. Here I examine 3 funding mechanisms: tourism, stewardship schemes, and global branding. A small number of commercial tourism operations make positive net contributions to conservation, some of global significance. Their models deserve duplication. Stewardship schemes have been politically motivated and ecologically ineffective, but they mobilize considerable funds. Principles for effective design are proposed. A well-branded worldwide initiative to link connectivity conservation efforts across national and continental borders could tap new large-scale multilateral funding for adaptation to climate change. In addition, a worldwide initiative could improve links between the many different current mechanisms for connectivity conservation. For example, bilateral aid projects could kickstart conservation tourism in severely impoverished nations. Proximity to protected areas outside national borders could become a criterion for national stewardship incentives. If other potential mechanisms such as water sales or carbon offsets do prove to generate significant conservation funding, they can also be incorporated into the World Wild Web.
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Copyright 2008 Biodiversity. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.