Equity trade-offs in conservation decision making

Law, Elizabeth A. and Bennett, Nathan J. and Ives, Christopher D. and Friedman, Rachel and Davis, Katrina J. and Archibald, Carla and Wilson, Kerrie A. (2017) Equity trade-offs in conservation decision making. Conservation Biology . ISSN 1523-1739 (In Press)

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Abstract

Conservation decisions increasingly involve multiple environmental and social objectives, which result in complex decision contexts with high potential for trade-offs. Improving social equity is one such objective that is often considered an enabler of successful outcomes and a virtuous ideal in itself. Despite its idealized importance in conservation policy, social equity is often highly simplified or ill-defined and is applied uncritically. What constitutes equitable outcomes and processes is highly normative and subject to ethical deliberation. Different ethical frameworks may lead to different conceptions of equity through alternative perspectives of what is good or right. This can lead to different and potentially conflicting equity objectives in practice. We promote a more transparent, nuanced, and pluralistic conceptualization of equity in conservation decision making that particularly recognizes where multidimensional equity objectives may conflict. To help identify and mitigate ethical conflicts and avoid cases of good intentions producing bad outcomes, we encourage a more analytical incorporation of equity into conservation decision making particularly during mechanistic integration of equity objectives. We recommend that in conservation planning motivations and objectives for equity be made explicit within the problem context, methods used to incorporate equity objectives be applied with respect to stated objectives, and, should objectives dictate, evaluation of equity outcomes and adaptation of strategies be employed during policy implementation.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Law, E. A., Bennett, N. J., Ives, C. D., Friedman, R., Davis, K. J., Archibald, C. and Wilson, K. A., Equity trade-offs in conservation decision making, Conservation Biology, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13008. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Keywords: Environmental management, ethical pluralism, conservation planning, conservation policy, prioritization, trade-offs.
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Geography
Identification Number: 10.1111/cobi.13008
Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2017 11:12
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2017 08:48
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/46888

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