Conservation Easements Outside of the United States
For the past thirty years, nonprofits in the United States have been authorized to acquire and hold conservation easements, which are perpetual restrictions that prevent alteration of the subject land’s natural and ecological features. Conservation easements have presented a lower cost, effective, far-reaching American conservation tool and proponents advocate for export of U.S. style conservation easements to other countries. But while conservation easements could be a useful tool for preservation of land outside the United States, they may not be the most effective or suitable framework to advance conservation restrictions in all countries. Each country should be able to determine whether conservation restrictions meet the economic, social, and political needs of the country. The U.S. model is useful for examining the policy and legal issues that arise when adopting these restrictions on land and this article will provide an analytical framework for the major policy and legal issues that could inform a nation’s decision to adopt private conservation restrictions based on the experience of the U.S.