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Assessing the role of economic instruments in a policy mix for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services provision: a review of some methodological challenges

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Author Info

  • Barton, D.N.
  • Rusch, G.
  • May, P.
  • Ring, I.
  • Unnerstall, H.
  • Santos, R.
  • Antunes, P.
  • Brouwer, R.
  • Grieg-Gran, M.
  • Similä, J.
  • Primmer, E.
  • Romeiro, A.
  • DeClerck, F.
  • Ibrahim, M.
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    Abstract

    In this paper we review a number of methodological challenges of evaluating and designing economic instruments aimed at biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services provision in the context of an existing policy mix. In the context of the EU 2010 goal of halting biodiversity loss, researchers have been called upon to evaluate the role of economic instruments for cost-effective decision-making, as well as non-market methods to assess their benefits. We argue that cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) and non-market valuation (NMV) methods are necessary, but not sufficient, approaches to assessing the role of economic instruments in a policy mix. We review the principles of “social-ecological-systems”(SES) (Ostrom et al. 2007) and discuss how SES can complement economic cost and benefit assessment methods, in particular in policy design research. To illustrate our conceptual comparison of assessment methodologies, we look at two examples of economic instruments at different government levels – payments for ecosystem services (PES) at farm level and ecological fiscal transfers to municipal /county government. What conceptual problems are introduced when evaluating policies in an instrument mix? How can the SES framework complement CEA and NMV in policy assessment and design? We draw on experiences from Brazil and Costa Rica to exemplify these questions. We conclude with some research questions.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 15554.

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    Date of creation: 01 Jun 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:15554

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    Keywords: biodiversity; ecosystem services; policy mix; social ecological systems; payments for environmental services; ecological fiscal transfers;

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    References

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    1. Fisher, Brendan & Turner, R. Kerry & Morling, Paul, 2009. "Defining and classifying ecosystem services for decision making," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 643-653, January.
    2. Barton, D.N. & Saloranta, T. & Moe, S.J. & Eggestad, H.O. & Kuikka, S., 2008. "Bayesian belief networks as a meta-modelling tool in integrated river basin management -- Pros and cons in evaluating nutrient abatement decisions under uncertainty in a Norwegian river basin," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 91-104, May.
    3. Stefano Pagiola & Paola Agostini & José Gobbi & Cees de Haan & Muhammad Ibrahim, 2004. "Paying for Biodiversity Conservation Services in Agricultural Landscapes," Others 0405005, EconWPA.
    4. Pagiola, Stefano & Arcenas, Agustin & Platais, Gunars, 2005. "Can Payments for Environmental Services Help Reduce Poverty? An Exploration of the Issues and the Evidence to Date from Latin America," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 237-253, February.
    5. Langpap, Christian & Wu, JunJie, 2004. "Voluntary conservation of endangered species: when does no regulatory assurance mean no conservation?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 435-457, May.
    6. Pagiola, Stefano, 2006. "Payments for Environmental Services in Costa Rica," MPRA Paper 2010, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Regina Birner & Heidi Wittmer, 2004. "On the 'efficient boundaries of the state': the contribution of transaction-costs economics to the analysis of decentralization and devolution in natural resource management," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 22(5), pages 667-685, October.
    8. Pagiola, Stefano & Bosquet, Benoit, 2009. "Estimating the costs of REDD at the country level," MPRA Paper 13726, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Wunder, Sven & Engel, Stefanie & Pagiola, Stefano, 2008. "Taking stock: A comparative analysis of payments for environmental services programs in developed and developing countries," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(4), pages 834-852, May.
    10. Clive L. Spash, 2008. "How Much is that Ecosystem in the Window? The One with the Bio-diverse Trail," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 17(2), pages 259-284, May.
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    Cited by:
    1. Kumar, Surender & Managi, Shunsuke, 2009. "Compensation for environmental services and intergovernmental fiscal transfers: The case of India," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(12), pages 3052-3059, October.
    2. Wainger, Lisa A. & King, Dennis M. & Mack, Richard N. & Price, Elizabeth W. & Maslin, Thomas, 2010. "Can the concept of ecosystem services be practically applied to improve natural resource management decisions?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(5), pages 978-987, March.

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