Most biodiverse countries spending the least on conservation, study finds

Countries that contain most of the world’s species biodiversity are also spending the least on a per-person basis to protect these natural assets, according to scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the University of Queensland. The authors also noted that spending appears to be associated with the country’s social and governance organization.

The study titled “Geography of Conservation Spending, Biodiversity, and Culture” appears in the latest edition of Conservation Biology. The authors are: Tim McClanahan of WCS and Peter Rankin of the University of Queensland.

Using open-source data from several international and research organizations, the authors found that cultural factors, such as individuality, defined as self-sufficiency, the equality of the society, and the strength of the rule-of-law governance organization are associated with relative spending on conservation activities. The problem is that countries spending the most are not located where the species diversity is most concentrated, which could undermine efforts to protect most the world’s biodiversity unless spending and policies change.

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