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Most conservation studies focus on biodiversity, but to be successful in a real-world application, they must also consider the cost of research and protection programs. A new study that looked at conservation programs in the Mediterranean region has found that cross-border cooperation can increase program effectiveness while significantly reducing the expense.Dr. Salit Kark, one of the studies authors, explained that their goal was to "investigate the costs and benefits of international collaboration on biodiversity conservation."
They found that by coordinating efforts between neighboring countries in the region, the cost of conservation efforts could be reduced by $67 billion. This represents and estimated 45% reduction from the current expense.
Professor Hugh Possingham, one of the researchers, explained:
While many conservation studies consider biodiversity, in the real world one needs to consider the cost of conservation and the threats to biodiversity. This study shows that when conservation costs and threats are taken into account, conservation is much more efficient.
Ideally, the study argues, conservation programs would be managed on a regional, not simply national, level. This would allow managers to conduct return-on-investment studies to better direct conservation money to the locations that could most benefit from the spending.
Such efforts, they conclude, would also provide an excellent impetus for countries to work together to address political and economic issues.
Read more about international conservation:
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"Conservation Map": The Silver Bullet Needed to Save Endangered Species?
International Group Proposes Measures to Stop Invasive Species, U.S. May Wait Until 2021