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Abstract

"Creating Markets for Biodiversity: A Case Study of Earth Sanctuaries Ltd" by Barbara Aretino, Paula Holland, Deborah Peterson and Michael Schuele was released on 4 September 2001. The study was carried out at the invitation of Environment Australia and the OECD. This paper examines the activities and operations of the first publicly listed company in Australia with wildlife conservation as its primary goal. This paper is the result of a case study of Earth Sanctuaries Ltd who is directly involved in the conservation of biodiversity. The paper found: the private sector can complement conservation activities by the public sector, both by adding to the resources for biodiversity conservation and by freeing up government resources for other purposes. However, arrangements such as wildlife legislation, land tenure and the limited application of the competitive neutrality framework to wildlife sanctuaries can restrict the scope for private firms to conserve biodiversity. All Australian jurisdictions have legislation restricting trade in, and the property rights to, native species which impacts significantly on private sector conservation activities. There also does not appear to be a consistent and coordinated approach across jurisdictions towards private conservation, amplifying uncertainty for organisations which operate in several jurisdictions. The views expressed in this paper are those of the staff involved and do not necessarily reflect those of the Productivity Commission.

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