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.

Chapter 6: Case Study: Rangeland Management in the Ferlo, Senegal

Lars Hein

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


INTRODUCTION In this chapter, the ecological–economic modelling approach described in Chapter 3 is used to analyse grazing strategies in a semi-arid rangeland in Senegal. Semi-arid rangelands are the vast tracts between deserts and the agricultural zones where rainfall is generally too low or unreliable for cropping, and where livestock keeping is the most important source of income (Walker and Noy-Meir, 1982; Walker and Abel, 2002). In recent decades, a range of models have been developed that aim to provide guidance on how to maximise income from livestock keeping in semi-arid zones while maintaining the natural resource basis. This has been a particularly urgent question for the Sahel, which has around 70 million pastoralists that are food insecure in years of drought (FAO, 2001). Furthermore, climate change may lead to a reduction of rainfall in the Sahel in the coming decades (Held et al., 2005), making it even more urgent to understand the sustainability and economics of Sahelian pastoralism. Rangelands have been modelled for several decades. Initial economic rangeland models comprised simple ecosystem dynamics that implicitly assumed exogenous forage production of the rangeland (e.g. Dillon and Burley, 1961; Hildreth and Riewe, 1963; Walters, 1968). In subsequent years, these models were adjusted to better reflect management strategies of pastoralists and/or ecosystem dynamics. For instance, McArthur and Dillon (1971) present a stochastic single period model with a risk averse manager, and Karp and Pope (1984) and Rodriguez and Taylor (1988) present dynamic models that consider the effects of the stocking rate on...

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