Human Values and Biodiversity Conservation
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Human Values and Biodiversity Conservation

The Survival of Wild Species

Clement A. Tisdell

This pioneering book explores the influence of human values on the willingness of individuals to pay for the conservation of individual wildlife species (and classes of these), to be for or against their survival, and to favour or oppose their harvesting.
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Chapter 2: Basic theory: the economic value of wild species, their conservation and use

Clement A. Tisdell


The purpose of this chapter is to outline and discuss economic theories about: ● the components of economic value that ought to be taken into account in the total economic valuation of wild species and the way in which these should be accounted for; ● the relationships of total economic value (TEV) and its components to the abundance of a wild species; ● the willingness to pay (WTP) for the conservation of a wild species as a function of its abundance (population) or conservation status; ● the dynamic nature of stated values and behavioural intentions, such as those arising in contingent valuation and related issues; ● economic ‘failures’ resulting from the economics of the acquisition of information by individuals, about the attributes of wild species, especially those species having a large public or collective good component; and ● the consequences of the use of a wild species for its conservation and for biodiversity conservation generally. Each of these matters will be addressed in turn. This theoretical discussion is important for interpreting most of the results from the case studies reported in Parts II and III of this book.

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