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Do We Really Care About Biodiversity?

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  • David Pearce

Abstract

This paper addresses from an economic perspective the issue of global biodiversity conservation. It challenges the perception that the world really cares a great deal about biodiversity and is prepared to pay the full cost of maintaining this stock of natural capital. Despite the existence of a plethora of international agreements there still seems to be a global ‘deficit of care’ surrounding efforts to combat challenges such as those posed by global warming and biodiversity conservation. More light can be thrown on the degree of care by measuring both the actual expenditures and the stated willingness to pay for biodiversity conservation. However, actual expenditures are much lower than willingness to pay estimates recorded in the published literature. Using the criteria that the ‘right’ amount of conservation effort is one where the marginal economic benefits from conservation just equal the marginal costs of conservation, the paper explores the biodiversity conservation conundrum and concluded that, on the available evidence, the world does not care too much about this natural capital stock and bequests to future generations. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10640-007-9161-0
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Environmental and Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 40 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 611-611

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Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:40:y:2008:i:4:p:611-611

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100263

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  1. Oran R. Young, 2003. "Environment and Statecraft: The Strategy of Environmental Treaty-Making," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 3(1), pages 145-147, 02.
  2. Langholz, Jeffrey A. & Lassoie, James P. & Lee, David & Chapman, Duane, 2000. "Economic considerations of privately owned parks," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 173-183, May.
  3. Turner, R. Kerry & Paavola, Jouni & Cooper, Philip & Farber, Stephen & Jessamy, Valma & Georgiou, Stavros, 2003. "Valuing nature: lessons learned and future research directions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 493-510, October.
  4. Norton-Griffiths, Michael & Southey, Clive, 1995. "The opportunity costs of biodiversity conservation in Kenya," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 125-139, February.
  5. Toman, Michael, 1998. "SPECIAL SECTION: FORUM ON VALUATION OF ECOSYSTEM SERVICES: Why not to calculate the value of the world's ecosystem services and natural capital," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 57-60, April.
  6. Woodward, Richard T. & Wui, Yong-Suhk, 2001. "The economic value of wetland services: a meta-analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 257-270, May.
  7. Alexander, Anne M. & List, John A. & Margolis, Michael & d'Arge, Ralph C., 1998. "A method for valuing global ecosystem services," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 161-170, November.
  8. Ruitenbeek, H. Jack, 1992. "The rainforest supply price: a tool for evaluating rainforest conservation expenditures," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 57-78, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Martinet, Vincent & Blanchard, Fabian, 2009. "Fishery externalities and biodiversity: Trade-offs between the viability of shrimp trawling and the conservation of Frigatebirds in French Guiana," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(12), pages 2960-2968, October.
  2. Małgorzata Buszko-Briggs & Mikołaj Czajkowski & Nick Hanley, 2008. "Valuing Changes in Forest Biodiversity," Working Papers 2008-02, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
  3. Knoke, Thomas & Steinbeis, Otto-Emmanuel & Bösch, Matthias & Román-Cuesta, Rosa María & Burkhardt, Thomas, 2011. "Cost-effective compensation to avoid carbon emissions from forest loss: An approach to consider price-quantity effects and risk-aversion," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(6), pages 1139-1153, April.
  4. Farley, Josh & Aquino, André & Daniels, Amy & Moulaert, Azur & Lee, Dan & Krause, Abby, 2010. "Global mechanisms for sustaining and enhancing PES schemes," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(11), pages 2075-2084, September.
  5. R. Simpson, 2007. "David Pearce and the economic valuation of biodiversity," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 37(1), pages 91-109, May.
  6. Jean-Michel Salles, 2011. "Valuing biodiversity and ecosystem services: why linking economic values with Nature?," Working Papers 11-24, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Dec 2011.
  7. Giles Atkinson & Sian Morse-Jones & Susana Mourato & Allan Provins, 2012. "‘When to Take “No” for an Answer’? Using Entreaties to Reduce Protests in Contingent Valuation Studies," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 51(4), pages 497-523, April.
  8. Jack Sinden & Wendy Gong & Randall Jones, 2011. "Estimating the Costs of Protecting Native Species from Invasive Animal Pests in New South Wales, Australia," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 50(2), pages 203-226, October.
  9. Edens, Bram & Hein, Lars, 2013. "Towards a consistent approach for ecosystem accounting," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 41-52.
  10. Ian Bateman & Amii Harwood & David Abson & Barnaby Andrews & Andrew Crowe & Steve Dugdale & Carlo Fezzi & Jo Foden & David Hadley & Roy Haines-Young & Mark Hulme & Andreas Kontoleon & Paul Munday & Un, 2014. "Economic Analysis for the UK National Ecosystem Assessment: Synthesis and Scenario Valuation of Changes in Ecosystem Services," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 57(2), pages 273-297, February.
  11. R. Turner & G. Daily, 2008. "The Ecosystem Services Framework and Natural Capital Conservation," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 39(1), pages 25-35, January.

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