Global funding for biodiversity conservation

Headshot of professor Dan MillerOn April 25, 2018, the ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes and the Global Drylands Center hosted Daniel Miller, an assistant professor in Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, for the Hugh Hanson seminar series. During his talk, co-authored by Anthony Waldron, and titled “Frontiers in the assessment of global funding for biodiversity conservation,” Dr. Miller discussed findings from a recent paper published in the journal Nature examining the impacts of conservation spending on biodiversity loss. He explained how evidence-based model can be used to quantify how conservation spending reduces the rate of biodiversity loss. Using this model, he and his colleagues find that conservation investment has reduced biodiversity loss in 109 countries by a median average of 29% per country between 1996 and 2008. Results also show that biodiversity changes in signatory countries can be predicted with high accuracy using the model, which balances the effects of conservation investment against various human development pressures. Dr. Miller discussed several major frontiers in research into the effectiveness of conservation funding, including use of this dual model for resource allocation decisions under different scenarios, the need for new approaches and technologies to better track conservation financing and more concerted effort to analyze the long-term effects of external support for biodiversity conservation efforts across the globe. Following his talk, a mini-workshop was held where CBO scientists Krista Kempinnen, Leah Gerber and Samantha Cheng dug into the data and questions with Dr. Miller to identify critical questions that we could tackle collaboratively. Stay tuned!