Conservation and Sustainable Use of the Biosphere - WBGU

Conservation and Sustainable Use of the Biosphere - WBGU

142 E Diversity of landscapes and ecosystems

areas have risen by 15–25 per cent (Campfire Association,

1999). From a nature- and species conservation

point of view, the designation of new protected areas

as a result of Campfire activities should be deemed to

be a success. It is especially important that Campfire

efforts have led to a re-opening of traditional migration

routes for wild animals as a result of the creation

of interlinked protected areas (Nuding, 1996).

In addition to the economic and ecological successes

of the project, positive effects can also be seen

from a social point of view. The development and

learning process triggered by the initiative led to an

increase in local self-awareness and responsibility

(empowerment, collective self-reliance).This form of

wild animal use thus simultaneously combats poverty

and promotes resource conservation and investment

in human capital (Nuding, 1996).


Implementing the strategy of ‘conservation

through use’

Choosing the form of use

With regard to a landscape’s protection requirement

and its protection worthiness, an appropriate use or

combination of various forms of use has to be chosen.

In principle, a distinction can be made between nonconsuming

use (photo-tourism and the trade in living

game) and consumptive use (subsistence hunting,

trophy hunting, game harvesting). The right form of

use cannot be selected abstractly, but only on the

basis of the local socio-economic conditions (Krug,


Some forms of use, which are particularly suitable

for the ‘conservation through use’ strategy, include

the use of wild animals and plants, tourism, and scientific

use. In principle, various forms of use are

therefore suitable for implementation of the ‘conservation

through use’ strategy. However, the use of

landscapes for extensive biomass production is at the

fore in this section, meaning that the use of wild animals

and plants in particular is considered here.

In this form of use, landscape protection can be

realized by placing a value on individual animal or

plant species. Many species produce multiple economic

benefits. For example, an elephant can be used

to provide meat, open up opportunities for game

hunting and function as a general tourist attraction

(Miller et al, 1995). Because a species usually has to

be kept in situ for this form of use, species conservation

is simultaneously associated with an incentive

also to conserve the ecosystem necessary for the

species. Experience in Africa with the legalized use of

wild animals – especially in Zimbabwe (Campfire

Project), Zambia, South Africa and Namibia – illustrate

that the use of game clearly has positive impacts

on species conservation and the spread of game

species. Species of game and plants that are not used

also benefit from the noticeable enlargement of the

habitats for wild animals. Nature conservation in this

form thus makes ecological sense and is an economically

attractive form of land use (Krug, 1997).

Organization of instruments

The various forms of use, the likely criteria that could

be used to determine the protection worthiness and

protection requirement, and the task of combining

use and protection make it clear that the ‘conservation

through use’ strategy cannot be organized

according to one blanket, generally applicable blueprint.

Instead, as mentioned above, an individual case

study is needed for every object of protection, for

which the incentives for sustainable management are

to be raised by increased use. Only then can instruments

be used.

Against this background, implementation of the

idea of ‘conservation through use’ requires a combination

of various instruments. It is extremely important

to equip potential beneficiaries with property

rights or rights of disposal. Only in very few cases

does the complete privatization of biological

resources lead to an allocation result in which higher

protection goals are adhered to. There is therefore a

need for precisely tailored rights of disposal that usually

have to be subject to a certain degree of public –

not necessarily centralized/state – control (cf Section

E for the importance of local authority

resource management).

This fundamental idea that a gain in efficiency

goes hand in hand with the allocation of private

rights of disposal has long been discussed in the economic

theory of property rights (Demsetz, 1967) and

can also be used for many environmental media – in

addition to air and water, possibly also for more subtle

media, such as the biosphere (Wegehenkel, 1981).

However, an individual case study has to decide on

the appropriateness of the desired environmental

policy goal in each case because the possibilities for

combining the protection goals with the use objectives

are heavily dependent on the section of the biosphere,

the local conditions, etc.

The instrument ‘creation of ex ante limited rights

of disposal’ is a key prerequisite for overcoming the

problem that the majority of local authority land can

be used by anyone for any purpose (open access

resource). In many cases this leads to overuse and the

ecosystem degradation (Hardin, 1968; Krug, 1997).

This central instrument, ‘creating rights of disposal’,

should then be combined with other instruments

(Bromley, 1994). On the one hand, economic incentive

instruments such as taxes and subsidies can be

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