, Volume 44, Issue 5, pp 391–400 | Cite as

The relationship among biodiversity, governance, wealth, and scientific capacity at a country level: Disaggregation and prioritization

  • Andrés Lira-Noriega
  • Jorge Soberón


At a global level, the relationship between biodiversity importance and capacity to manage it is often assumed to be negative, without much differentiation among the more than 200 countries and territories of the world. We examine this relationship using a database including terrestrial biodiversity, wealth and governance indicators for most countries. From these, principal components analysis was used to construct aggregated indicators at global and regional scales. Wealth, governance, and scientific capacity represent different skills and abilities in relation to biodiversity importance. Our results show that the relationship between biodiversity and the different factors is not simple: in most regions wealth and capacity varies positively with biodiversity, while governance vary negatively with biodiversity. However, these trends, to a certain extent, are concentrated in certain groups of nations and outlier countries. We discuss our results in the context of collaboration and joint efforts among biodiversity-rich countries and foreign agencies.


Biodiversity indicators Biodiversity assessment Decision makers Developing countries 



We thank Dr. Barbara M. Thiers from the New York Botanical Garden for allowing us to use the Index Herbariorum data. Samy Gaiji of GBIF compiled the information about their huge database. Comments from Don Doering and Leonard Krishtalka helped to improve the manuscript. A.L.-N. was funded by a JRS Biodiversity Foundation grant (PS5183).

Supplementary material

13280_2014_581_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (201 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 201 kb)
13280_2014_581_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (121 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (XSLX 121 kb)


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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biodiversity InstituteUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA

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