Study highlights need to unify public and private in conservation

Blog, Environment, Joseph Quesnel

A study released by Reed Watson, a research fellow with the Montana-based Property and Environment Research Center, correctly identifies the problem of conservation.

The full study can be accessed here.

That problem being the so-called split wildlife estate where wildlife is a publicly-owned resource yet the majority of wildlife habitat is on private land.

This was a central problem identified in the Canadian Property Rights Index as well when it came to endangered species protections.

Watson argues that the two estates can be effectively unified through public-private partnerships. He provides two case studies to that effect.

In a study by Dr. Rainer Knopf and Cormack Gates for the Frontier Centre, the authors show how a failed Alberta proposal could have rewarded the private production of ecological goods and services. Hunting for Habitat, they reveal,  would have provided market incentives to enhance the private production of wildlife habitat.

Provinces and territories across Canada need to find more innovative ways to unify the split wildlife estate.