My thesis will investigate the technical ability to include socio-economic factors, specifically economic costs, into conservation planning. The technical ability to establish effective conservation reserves and protected areas based on biological data is increasing. Yet, most research to date has neglected considerations other than biodiversity, despite the widespread agreement that social and economic factors ultimately impact the success of conservation efforts. Research has demonstrated that the explicit consideration of costs results in more cost-efficient conservation decisions that are more likely to result in real conservation outcomes. However, there is little guidance on how to include costs effectively in the planning process. For example, no research to date has provided strong guidelines on what costs to include, what data and analyses are needed to estimate these costs, and how best to integrate costs into existing decision-support tools. My thesis will provide clear guidance on how to define explicit economic goals and what data best align with these goals for incorporation into decision support tools. Additionally, it will examine how including costs into the planning process impacts conservation outcomes and will consider the implications of information gaps and uncertainties in data.