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To value or not to value? That is not the question

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  • Kallis, Giorgos
  • Gómez-Baggethun, Erik
  • Zografos, Christos

Abstract

Should we reject money when we value nature? Like most environmentalists, ecological economists are increasingly divided on this question. Synthesizing political ecology with ecological economics, we argue that this way of framing the question is limited. We propose a reformulation of the question into “when and how to value with money?” and “under what conditions?” We recommend four criteria for a sound choice: environmental improvement; distributive justice and equality; maintenance of plural value-articulating institutions; and, confronting commodification under neo-liberalism. We call for due attention to the socio-political context within which a valuation is placed and the political goals it serves. The relevance of this framework is demonstrated by applying it to three practical cases: pollution damages, water pricing and payments for ecosystem services.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 94 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 97-105

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:94:y:2013:i:c:p:97-105

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

Related research

Keywords: Commodification; Monetary valuation; Market-based instruments; Power; Political ecology;

References

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  1. Gutman, Pablo, 2007. "Ecosystem services: Foundations for a new rural-urban compact," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3-4), pages 383-387, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Temper, Leah & Martinez-Alier, Joan, 2013. "The god of the mountain and Godavarman: Net Present Value, indigenous territorial rights and sacredness in a bauxite mining conflict in India," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 79-87.
  2. Yaella Depietri & Lorenzo Guadagno & Margaretha Breil, 2013. "Urban Watershed Services For Improved Ecosystem Management and Risk Reduction, Assessment Methods and Policy Instruments: State of the Art," Working Papers 2013.101, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.

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