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Conservation of biodiversity and economic development: The concept of transferable development rights

  • Theodore Panayotou
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    For ecological and economic reasons it is more cost effective to conserve habitats rather than species, and hence biodiversity conservation becomes a land use issue. Since in developing countries, land is the most important productive asset, the opportunity costs of conservation are forgone development, while the benefits from conservation are distant and largely external to the host country. The concept of transferable development rights (TDRs), which has been extensively applied to conservation of historical buildings in urban areas, is extended and adapted here to the conservation of biodiversity, both within a country and globally. Creation of a market for TDRs makes effective the latent demand for and supply of biodiversity conservation and generates benefits for both the supplier (developing countries) and the demander (developed countries). The paper explores the conditions and public interventions necessary for the creation of an active market for TDRs. It also proposes a number of mechanisms such as credits and offsets for purchase of TDRs against domestic regulations and conservation taxes in the developed countries. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/BF00691934
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    Article provided by European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Environmental & Resource Economics.

    Volume (Year): 4 (1994)
    Issue (Month): 1 (February)
    Pages: 91-110

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:4:y:1994:i:1:p:91-110
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