Conservation of biological diversity is important for sustainable development, and decentralization is a key aspect of good governance. Whether decentralization promotes conservation and if so, under what conditions, is the topic of this book. This study draws insights from field experience and traces the complex interactions among various factors involved, such as degree and type of decentralization, community participation, institutional capacity, and economic incentives. Local and international experts present case studies from experiences in Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, the Philippines, Russia, and Zimbabwe. Subsequent chapters review 32 World Bank and Global Environment Facility projects and their impact on habitat conservation, describe a possible model of a decentralized country, and look at lessons learned from the overall study.