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Wetland Conservation in Southern Ontario: Exploring a Modified Club Goods Approach

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Title: Wetland Conservation in Southern Ontario: Exploring a Modified Club Goods Approach
Author: Coatsworth, Brook
Department: Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics
Program: Food, Agriculture and Resource Economics
Advisor: Fox, Glenn
Abstract: This thesis is an exploration of a modified club goods approach to wetland conservation in southern Ontario as an alternative to the current policy approach. As the regulatory framework for wetland conservation continues to develop, however, so does an emerging resistance to participate in government conservation programs by private rural landowners protesting regulatory erosion of citizen rights in private land ownership. The modified club goods approach was evaluated as a fair and effective conservation method through a multiple-case study that explored six non-governmental organizations applying a modified club goods conservation model. As non-governmental organizations broaden their economic base to increase their scope of operations, they are susceptible to influence from changing sources of revenue. They must remain accountable and transparent to members and donors in order to receive their continued financial support, rather than depending on government funds which leads to an organization’s evolution away from the modified model.
Description: The intention of this thesis is not to suggest that the Ontario government should not take part in wetland conservation. On the contrary, it is there duty to be active stakeholders that ensure the province's wetlands are managed fairly and effectively. This thesis explores a modified club goods approach as an alternative approach which the government should support as mediator, not as leader nor as spectator. That said, provincial wetland policy should be developed as a tool for guiding best management and conservation practices of wetlands, and to enhance the provision of environmental goods and services from wetlands.
Date: 2012-12
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