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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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Suggested Citation

  • David Pearce, 2008. "Do We Really Care About Biodiversity?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 40(4), pages 611-611, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:40:y:2008:i:4:p:611-611
    DOI: 10.1007/s10640-007-9161-0
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    Cited by:

    1. R. Turner & G. Daily, 2008. "The Ecosystem Services Framework and Natural Capital Conservation," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 39(1), pages 25-35, January.
    2. 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, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 51(4), pages 497-523, April.
    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. Kontogianni, A. & Tourkolias, C. & Machleras, A. & Skourtos, M., 2012. "Service providing units, existence values and the valuation of endangered species: A methodological test," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 97-104.
    5. Swarna Nantha, Hemanath & Tisdell, Clem, 2014. "The Opportunity Cost of Engaging in Reduced-Impact Logging to Conserve the Orangutan: A Case Study of the Management of Deramakot Forest Reserve, Sabah, Malaysia," Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers 168376, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    6. Lars Ravensbeck & Ayoe Hoff & Hans Frost, 2016. "Implications for fisheries management by inclusion of marine ecosystem services," IFRO Working Paper 2016/12, University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics.
    7. Czajkowski, Mikolaj & Buszko-Briggs, Malgorzata & Hanley, Nick, 2009. "Valuing changes in forest biodiversity," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(12), pages 2910-2917, October.
    8. Edens, Bram & Hein, Lars, 2013. "Towards a consistent approach for ecosystem accounting," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 41-52.
    9. 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, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 50(2), pages 203-226, October.
    10. R. Simpson, 2007. "David Pearce and the economic valuation of biodiversity," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 37(1), pages 91-109, May.
    11. 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, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 57(2), pages 273-297, February.
    12. Farnsworth, K.D. & Adenuga, A.H. & de Groot, R.S., 2015. "The complexity of biodiversity: A biological perspective on economic valuation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 350-354.
    13. Amin, Ariane, 2016. "Exploring the role of economic incentives and spillover effects in biodiversity conservation policies in sub-Saharan Africa," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 185-191.
    14. Iritié, Bi Goli Jean Jacques, 2015. "Economic growth and biodiversity: An overview. Conservation policies in Africa," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 196-208.
    15. Jean-Michel Salles, 2011. "Valuing biodiversity and ecosystem services: why linking economic values with Nature?," Working Papers 11-24, LAMETA, Universitiy of Montpellier, revised Dec 2011.
    16. Levrel, Harold & Jacob, Céline & Bailly, Denis & Charles, Mahe & Guyader, Olivier & Aoubid, Schéhérazade & Bas, Adeline & Cujus, Alexia & Frésard, Marjolaine & Girard, Sophie & Hay, Julien & Laurans, , 2014. "The maintenance costs of marine natural capital: A case study from the initial assessment of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive in France," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 37-47.
    17. Nielsen, Max & Ravensbeck, Lars & Nielsen, Rasmus, 2014. "Green growth in fisheries," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 43-52.
    18. 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.
    19. Melathopoulos, Andony P. & Cutler, G. Christopher & Tyedmers, Peter, 2015. "Where is the value in valuing pollination ecosystem services to agriculture?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 59-70.
    20. 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.

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