Table of Contents

Handbook of Ecological Economics

Handbook of Ecological Economics

Edited by Joan Martínez-Alier and Roldan Muradian

This Handbook provides an overview of major current debates, trends and perspectives in ecological economics. It covers a wide range of issues, such as the foundations of ecological economics, deliberative methods, the de-growth movement, ecological macroeconomics, social metabolism, environmental governance, consumer studies, knowledge systems and new experimental approaches. Written by leading authors in their respective areas of specialisation, the contributions systematize the “state of the art” in the selected topics, and draw insights about new knowledge frontiers.

Chapter 17: Economic instruments in policy mixes for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem governance

Irene Ring and David N. Barton

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, environment, ecological economics


Biodiversity conservation usually builds on strategies involving a wide range of policy instruments. Policy mixes are even more important in the sustained provision of ecosystem services, however, because further sector policies come into play, be it in a synergistic way or through adverse effects. Within these policy mixes, the use of economic instruments has attracted increasing attention for biodiversity policies and the provision of ecosystem services (Vatn et al., 2011), not least in the context of the recent TEEB initiative on The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (Ring et al., 2010b; TEEB, 2010, 2011, 2012). However, economic instruments are never designed and implemented in isolation. In practice, most of them build on or complement prior regulatory approaches to conservation such as protected area regulations and conservation planning. This being so, the focus in policy analysis and design should be on policy mixes rather than on single instruments or instrument categories (for example, regulation or economic instruments). However, there are still many unresolved questions regarding the combination of several instruments in a policy mix. For example, what is the role of economic instruments vis-a-vis regulatory approaches in biodiversity policies? How can the various instruments be assessed when the focus is on a policy mix rather than a single instrument? Are there appropriate frameworks for policy mix analysis and the design of instruments in policy mixes?

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