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Do We Really Care About Biodiversity?

  • David Pearce

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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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
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100263

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  1. 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.
  2. Norton-Griffiths, Michael & Southey, Clive, 1995. "The opportunity costs of biodiversity conservation in Kenya," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 125-139, February.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  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. 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.
  8. 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.
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