Monday, June 2, 2014

More valuation readings

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.

Please read some of these excellent sources:

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?  I'd especially like to see if ECN students look at valuation differently than EVS students, so when you post, let us know your primary field of study. 


Lisa Holbach said...

I am an econ major and I think the idea of valuation is great. It did take me a couple of months to fully understand it and even now, reading all these articles, I have found a new appreciation for it. I think that putting environmental factors into a language which everyone can understand (money) gives it a whole new meaning.
I think a lot of reserves about valuation come from not wanting to put a price on something which we love and therefore see as priceless. However, some people do not value it as high as others and therefor putting a certain value on it may even help them see it's true potential and worth in comparison to other marketable things.

Taylor Davis said...

On "Why Economics Matters for Endangered Species Protection"....

In this article, we see that economic incentives are vital in shaping human behavior, and human behavior directly affects the endangerment of species. Therefore, incentives are necessary to encourage humans to cooperate in protecting endangered species. For instance, if endangered wolves eat 3 pigs from a farm, the farmer should be compensated for those 3 pigs as opposed to shooting the wolves. However, we must then also worry about landowners taking advantage of this. They may withhold information or may choose to settle in a place where they know endangered species will affect their property. This means that lower compensation would be more efficient, but then landowners will be less likely to participate. When using compensation as a method of endangered species protection, we must also consider where this money is coming from. If the government must respond and compensate for several of these claims,this will add up to a lot of time and money. This could lead to the government taking under fewer ESA actions. I personally believe that a combination of compensation and fines are necessary for endangered species to successfully be protected.

Taylor Davis

Jeremy Nicholson said...

Being an econ major I have nothing but good things to say about market and non-market valuation. I am a firm believer in mathematics and believe that being able to place a number(price) on resources really gives us the ability to "see" that resource's value in a more tangible fashion. We must, however, be careful in the valuation process. Like some of these articles pointed out, when done incorrectly, it can cause more harm than good. It is critical that we do not over estimate the value, have a good understanding of economics, and rule out any ideas that are clearly bias. Valuation is a useful tool that seems to be growing rapidly. As the saying goes "The numbers don't lie." So why not assign these resources a number/price?

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