Comparative Costs and Conservation Policies for the Survival of the Oranutan and Other Species: Includes an Example
AbstractThe extent to which conservation is feasible is constrained by budgets and the financial sacrifice stakeholders are willing to bear. Therefore a possible objective for conserving a species is to minimise the cost of achieving that stated aim. For example, if a minimum viable population (MVP) of a species is to be conserved, the size and type of habitats reserved for this could be selected to minimise cost. This requires consideration of the comparative (relative) opportunity costs of reserving different land types for conservation. A general model is developed to demonstrate this and is applied to the case of the orangutan. In the ecological literature, recommendations for reserving different types of land for conservation have been based on comparisons of either the absolute economic returns they generate if converted to commercial use or on differences in the density of a species they support. These approaches are shown to be deficient because they ignore relative trade-offs between species population and economic conversion gains at alternative sites. The proposed model for orangutan conservation shows that where land conversion may be impending, the selection of habitats (peat forests or dryland forests or combinations of both) for securing an MVP may in fact be different when comparative costs are factored in than if only absolute values are considered.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Queensland, School of Economics in its series Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers with number 90466.
Date of creation: May 2010
Date of revision:
Comparative costs; Conservation in situ; costs of conservation; environmental policy; minimum viable populations; opportunity costs; orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus); Community/Rural/Urban Development; Environmental Economics and Policy; Q01; Q13; Q57; Q58.;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development
- Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness
- Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics
- Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-06-04 (All new papers)
- NEP-CUL-2010-06-04 (Cultural Economics)
- NEP-ENV-2010-06-04 (Environmental Economics)
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