Wednesday, October 2, 2013

As we get deeper into our discussion of non-market valuation, I'm going to continue my efforts to convince you that economic analysis has a indispensable place at the conservation policy table. This argument is fairly easy to make when I'm talking to economists or economics students, but for those that have never really studied econ before, it's a bit tougher. This is because people who have only studied natural sciences may have a tendency to view all things dealing with markets as the causes of environmental problems rather than the solutions. I hope you're starting to see that it's both.  Solutions have to target causes.

Please read:

Why Economics Matters for Endangered Species Protection (Shogren et al., 1998)

The Role of Economic Valuation in the Conservation of Tropical Nature (Naidoo, 2008)

Conservation Pays (Yuskavitch, 2007, Defenders of Wildlife)

Marine Conservation: How Economic Valuation of Ecosystem Services Can Help (Environment Matters, 2008)

Can Environmental Economic Valuation Techniques Aid Ecological Economics and Wildlife Conservation? (Loomis, 2000, Wildlife Society Bulletin)

Of additional interest:

Economic Incentives and Wildlife Conservation (Bulte et al., 2003)

Tons of references and links here:

Economic Valuation References WRI

Reefs here and here and here

Wetlands here

This is a tiny fraction of what's out there. Thoughts?


Celina Roach said...

The article on why economics matter.....endangered species is interesting. For me it is a lot to grasp so I definitely need to re-read it a number of times. One query I have though is about the protection of the endangered wolves; by compensating the farmers, how do they know that the farmers will be honest in their assessment of how much livestock the wolves killed?

Robb C said...

In the article Marine Conservation, I agree with the article but still can't grasp how we can come up with a plan to show local communities that are struggling that their practices are damaging and harmful for future generations, when all they are worried about is to put food on their children's plate tonight

Douglas Brown said...

The article on why economics matter in endangered species protection I find very interesting. I didn't know economics played such an important role in species conservation; it is really an eye-opener for me.

Dr. Peter Schuhmann said...

Celina, I imagine that each farmer has detailed records on the size of their livestock, including records for each individual.

Robb, what you are worried about it central to any discussion of conservation. As we've discussed many times in class, the cause of just about all environmental problems can be traced to a disparity between what is best for the individual and what is best for society (including future generations). Our job is to try to find policy solutions that bring these two things closer together. How can we make individual self-interest line-up with the best interest of society? Pigou and Coase gave us the basic framework, we have to figure out how to apply it in specific instances. Its a lot of work and just about every policy is going to have downsides and difficulties. Those that stand to lose from the policy are going to highlight those issues in attempt to defeat the policy to preserve their own self-interest. This type of political rent-seeking makes policy formulation even tougher and makes progress much slower.

Craig D. said...

John Dixon points out a major problem in valuation is that we tend to place value only on what is easily bought, sold, seen or identified while the unknowns are assigned a value of zero. One of these “unknowns” that are not easily seen are coral reefs. Herman Cesar took the negative effects of practices such as poison and blast fishing on Indonesia and quantified them. He was able to simplify the results from some of his studies such as the Net private benefits of blast fishing vs. the losses to charts and graphs. He states this calls for “decisive government action to stop these threats.” I am surprised that more policy has not been put in place when the negatives are apparent. From the graphs and charts displayed, policy makers should be able to clearly see that a change could bring great benefit. My question is why is so little being done about it?

Celina Roach said...
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Celina Roach said...

The article on the role of economic valuation by Naidoo is good. It really relates to the notes on valuation, the pros and the cons with everyday examples.