Editor Rudolf de Groot
How the World Bank funds protected areas
Article first published online: 31 MAR 2011
©2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Volume 4, Issue 4, pages 269–277, August/September 2011
How to Cite
Hickey, V. and Pimm, S. L. (2011), How the World Bank funds protected areas. Conservation Letters, 4: 269–277. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2011.00172.x
- Issue published online: 27 JUL 2011
- Article first published online: 31 MAR 2011
- Accepted manuscript online: 11 MAR 2011 08:42AM EST
- Received , 26 March 2010, Accepted, 18 February 2011
- Protected areas;
- World Bank;
The World Bank is the largest international funder of biodiversity conservation. It invests in protected areas to conserve species and spaces, protect ecosystems, and provide food, shelter, and other ecosystem services to local communities. It spends on average, $275 million annually supporting parks in developing countries. We examined their protected areas investment portfolio from 1988 to 2008 to understand how they allocate these funds. We found that more money is allocated to countries with progressively larger GDPs. Many, but not all, of these investments correlate with consensus opinions of high biodiversity priorities. But the World Bank's investments are not proportional; poorer countries receive relatively more funds than richer ones, regardless of biodiversity importance. We suggest that these investments focus on supporting parks that provide benefits to local communities, particularly in poorer nations, rather than on biodiversity priorities in a vacuum. This mirrors their mission to work for a world without poverty.