Human Dimensions of Biodiversity Conservation in the Interior Forests of British Columbia


  • David O. Watson
  • Bonita L. McFarlane
  • Michel K. Haener



forest management, biological diversity, biodiversity, conservation, human dimensions, social


Generally, studies on biodiversity conservation have focused on topics within the natural sciences, such as species and ecosystem concerns. However, an understanding of the human dimensions of biodiversity conservation is lacking. To address this gap, a study was undertaken in the Robson Valley in east-central British Columbia in 2001 to document stakeholders - understanding and perceptions of biodiversity issues, examine potential trade-offs associated with conservation, and provide decision makers with insight concerning the acceptability of potential forest management scenarios. A mail survey was used to collect data from residents of British Columbia and two groups of recreationists. Results show that stakeholders are diverse in their perceptions and knowledge related to biodiversity conservation. A choice experiment was used to examine trade-offs inherent in conserving biodiversity at the landscape level. The choice model showed that respondents preferred options that emphasized biodiversity conservation, and that Robson Valley residents had different preferences than the respondents in the other subsamples. Several potential forest management scenarios were simulated using the choice model results. The potential for future research, and ideas for improving the model, are discussed.