This paper outlines the significance of the concept of conservation value and discusses ways in which it is determined paying attention to views stemming from utilitarian ethics and from deontological ethics. The importance of user costs in relation to economic decisions about the conservation and use of natural resources is emphasised. Particular attention is given to competing views about the importance of conserving natural resources in order to achieve economic sustainability. This then lends to a discussion of the value of conserving natural resources in order to meet the moral obligations of present generations to future generations. Anthropogenic views of the value of conserving natural resources (for example, derived from utilitarian ethics) are contrasted with views stressing mankind’s obligations to nature (ecocentric views). The latter are often based on deontological ethics.
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