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Creating markets for biodiversity: A case study of Earth Sanctuaries Ltd

Staff research paper

This paper by Barbara Aretino, Paula Holland, Deborah Peterson and Michael Schuele was released on 4 September 2001. This paper is the result of a case study of Earth Sanctuaries Ltd - a publicly listed Australian company directly involved in the conservation of biodiversity. The study was carried out at the invitation of Environment Australia and the OECD.

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The private sector can complement conservation activities by the public sector, both by adding to the resources for biodiversity conservation and by freeing up government resources for other purposes.

However, arrangements such as wildlife legislation, land tenure and the limited application of the competitive neutrality framework to wildlife sanctuaries can restrict the scope for private firms to conserve biodiversity.

These are among the findings of a Staff Research Paper, Private Conservation of Biodiversity: A Case Study of Earth Sanctuaries Ltd, which examines the activities and operations of the first publicly listed company in Australia with wildlife conservation as its primary goal.

All Australian jurisdictions have legislation restricting trade in, and the property rights to, native species which impacts significantly on private sector conservation activities. There also does not appear to be a consistent and coordinated approach across jurisdictions towards private conservation, amplifying uncertainty for organisations which operate in several jurisdictions.

The Commission's paper will be included in a forthcoming international report by the OECD/World Bank on creating markets for biodiversity.

Background Information

02 6240 3330

Cover, Copyright, Foreword, Contents, Abbreviations, Overview

1 Introduction

2 Private sector contribution to biodiversity conservation
Economic framework
Potential strengths and weaknesses of private sector conservation

3 Regulatory challenges
Wildlife property rights and trade of fauna
Private conservation on leasehold land
Competitive neutrality and contestability

4 ESL's ecological and financial outcomes
Ecological outcomes
Financial outcomes

5 Conclusions and potential policy issues


A Government responsibilities for environmental legislation

B Examples of private sector involvement in biodiversity conservation

C An overview of Earth Sanctuaries Ltd