Mainstreaming Impact Evaluation in Nature Conservation
Other text in scientific journal, 2016

An important part of conservation practice is the empirical evaluation of program and policy impacts. Understanding why conservation programs succeed or fail is essential for designing cost-effective initiatives and for improving the livelihoods of natural resource users. The evidence we seek can be generated with modern impact evaluation designs. Such designs measure causal effects of specific interventions by comparing outcomes with the interventions to outcomes in credible counterfactual scenarios. Good designs also identify the conditions under which the causal effect arises. Despite a critical need for empirical evidence, conservation science has been slow to adopt these impact evaluation designs. We identify reasons for the slow rate of adoption and provide suggestions for mainstreaming impact evaluation in nature conservation.

Payment for environmental services

Impact evaluation

Conservation policy


Protected areas


Kathy Baylis

University of Illinois

J. Honey-Rosés

University of British Columbia (UBC)

J. Börner

University of Bonn

E. Corbera

Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB)

Driss Ezzine-de-Blas

CIRAD Centre de Recherche de Montpellier

P.J. Ferraro

Georgia State University

R. Lapeyre


Martin Persson

Chalmers, Energy and Environment, Physical Resource Theory

A. Pfaff

Duke University

Sven Wunder

Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)

Conservation Letters

1755-263X (ISSN)

Vol. 9 1 58-64

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary




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