Policy ForumEcology

Direct Payments to Conserve Biodiversity

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Science  29 Nov 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5599, pp. 1718-1719
DOI: 10.1126/science.1078104

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International donors and private citizens have invested billions of dollars to protect biodiversity in developing nations. The most popular investments aim to encourage economic activities that indirectly protect ecosystems and species. An alternative form of investment is to pay directly for conservation outcomes, as is commonly done in high-income nations. While not a "silver bullet," direct approaches may, in many cases, be more effective and efficient than indirect ones, and thus merit greater attention in developing nations.

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