Is bioprospecting a viable strategy for conserving tropical ecosystems?
This paper explores whether bioprospecting can reasonably be expected to change rural incentives to conserve tropical ecosystems. Bioprospecting advocates posit that the prospect of discovery ofbiota of immense commercial worth offers an avenue to increase the valuation of nature and endogenously reduce consumptive use of habitat. We consider the microeconomic mechanisms by which bioprospecting might affect incentives and the distributional consequences of these effects.
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