Growing disparity in global conservation research capacity and its impact on biodiversity conservation

Lu Zhang, Li Yang, Colin A. Chapman, Carlos A. Peres, Tien Ming Lee, Peng Fei Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


Building conservation research capacity (CRC), especially in developing countries, has long been proposed to halt and reverse biodiversity loss. Yet, a global evaluation of CRC and its impact on biodiversity conservation is still lacking. Here, by analyzing over 177,000 scientific papers from major conservation journals published after 2000, we derived six indicators of CRC and monitored their changes for the 193 United Nations member countries. We found that while CRC expectedly varied globally, the disparity in CRC between the top and bottom echelons grew over time. While most CRC indicators improved biodiversity conservation status (i.e., the IUCN Red List Index) in high-CRC countries, only the number of collaborating countries had a positive impact for low-CRC countries. Therefore, building CRC must be a top conservation priority, and high-CRC countries must lend greater support for low-CRC countries through meaningful collaborations and funding truly collaborative research in low-CRC developing countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-157
Number of pages11
JournalOne Earth
Issue number2
Early online date30 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • bibliometric analysis
  • COP-15
  • debt-for-swaps
  • IUCN Red List Index
  • Kunming-Montreal global biodiversity framework
  • megadiverse countries
  • protected areas
  • threatened species

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