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Plant Red Data List assessments in southern Africa: financial costs of a collaborative regional project

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Abstract:

As part of the activities of the Southern African Botanical Diversity Network (SABONET), funds were made available by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) to compile plant Red Data Lists for the ten participating countries. Analysis of costs involved in terms of human and financial resources to perform conservation assessments of threatened plants revealed interesting trends, especially cost savings due to sound co-ordination followed by stakeholder participation and data collection. Data dissemination proved the most expensive. Data collection did not include costs involved in gathering species information, because these contributions were voluntary and cost-free. SABONET has demonstrated that with sound management and co-ordination, and selective regional participatory consultation and peer review, it is possible to assess conservation status of threatened plants at around $US 18/taxon and produce a complete product at $US 40/taxon. Cost-effective expenditure for generating conservation-oriented information is often overlooked in donor-funded projects. This article presents a project case study of how a low financial input can lead to high returns (useful information and skills that can improve decisions about conservation).

Keywords: AFRICA; BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION; HERBARIA; IUCN; RED DATA LISTS; SABONET; TAXONOMY

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Zululand, Private Bag X1001, KwaDlangezwa 3886, South Africa

Publication date: 2005-11-01

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