Economics and Ecosystems

Economics and Ecosystems

Efficiency, Sustainability and Equity in Ecosystem Management

Lars Hein

Economics and Ecosystems demonstrates how the concepts of economic efficiency, sustainability and equity can be applied in ecosystem management. The book presents an overview of these three concepts, a framework for their analysis and modelling, and three case studies. Specific attention is given to how complex ecosystem dynamics, such as thresholds or irreversible responses, influence ecosystem management options. The case studies focus on ecosystem dynamics and ecosystem services supply in a forest ecosystem, a Dutch wetland, and a rangeland in the Western Sahel.

Preface

Lars Hein

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

Extract

This book shows how the concepts of economic efficiency, sustainability and equity (in other words: people–planet–profit) can be applied in ecosystem management. The book provides an overview of the three concepts, presents a framework for modelling the efficiency, sustainability and equity of ecosystem management, and contains three case studies that illustrate the framework. It also examines how complex ecosystem dynamics, such as thresholds and irreversible responses, influence options for ecosystem management. The book is based on my PhD dissertation ‘Optimising the management of complex dynamic ecosystems: an ecological–economic modelling approach’, which I defended in January 2005. The dissertation has been rewritten and updated with the intention of producing a more broadly relevant text, building on the practical experiences with environmental management that I gained as environmental advisor for the FAO/World Bank Investment Centre (1997–2002) and in Shell International (2007–2010). The book is targeted at students and practitioners with an interest in ecosystem management. The book has a quantitative approach, and provides general formulas for analysing ecosystem dynamics and ecosystem services. The presented modelling framework can be used to quantify the economic efficiency, sustainability and equity of potential ecosystem management options. I would like to thank Hans-Peter Weikard, Rik Leemans, Ekko van Ierland and Wieteke Willemen, who have reviewed draft chapters. I hope the book will contribute to the design and implementation of enhanced approaches to ecosystem management. vii