In conservation planning, cost data may reflect any variety of socioeconomic factors, which if minimized, might help the conservation plan be implemented more effectively and reduce conflicts with other uses. Following are some examples of different definitions of “cost”.
EQUAL TO THE PLANNING UNIT AREA.
Costs associated with conservation actions include acquisition costs (e.g., cost of buying or leasing land), management costs (e.g., enforcement and monitoring costs of protected areas), and transaction costs (e.g., costs associated with negotiating protection, such as the time and staff involved in stakeholder negotiations).
It is often difficult to estimate socio-economic costs due to data limitations, accessibility, and uncertainty. When relevant, high quality spatially explicit cost data are not available, sensible surrogates can be used to represent socioeconomic impacts. For example, coastal population density may be a proxy for resource dependencies. The distance from ports or roads may be used as an estimate of accessibility (e.g. farther travel means higher costs).
“Opportunity costs” are the estimates of foregone revenues or economic livelihoods from putting an area into conservation (for example, the lost revenue incurred to a fisherman or fishing fleet if they can no longer fish).