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Sustaining Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functions

Economic Issues

Clement A. Tisdell

This innovative book identifies socio-economic processes which transform the stock of genetic resources and ecosystems and discusses sustainability issues raised by variations in this stock. It focuses subsequently on the socio-economics of the conservation and change in the stock of human developed germplasm and ecosystems. Particular attention is given to crops, livestock, GMOs, reduced economic value due to biological erosion, alternative agroecosystems, and property rights in germplasm. The book concludes with an exploration of the economic topics dealing with changes in the stock of wild germplasm and natural ecosystems, and discusses the associated valuation problems.
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Chapter 14: Economic incentives to conserve wildlife on private lands: analysis, policy and examples

Clement A. Tisdell


This chapter extends the coverage of the previous one. First it does this by further considering the ability and desirability for conservation purposes of granting property rights to landholders to utilize wildlife when it is present on their land. Secondly, it also does this for other policy measures that can induce landholders to conserve wildlife when it is present on their land. These policy instruments include those that are commonly classified as involving payment for the provision of ecosystem services (PES). Several examples illustrate the analysis.

It is important to consider such matters because some free-market advocates believe that the provision of private property rights in wildlife on private land provides a powerful (and virtually sufficient) economic incentive for nature conservation because it enables property owners to market such wildlife or its attributes. If such marketing is the most profitable land use, private landholders will conserve the wildlife concerned and its required habitat. But land is not always most profitably used for exploitation of wildlife, and many economic values of wildlife (such as non-use economic values) cannot be marketed. Moreover, as analysed in the previous chapter, the mobility of some wildlife adds to the limitations of the private-property approach. While some species may be conserved by this approach, it is suboptimal as a single policy approach to nature conservation. Nevertheless, it is being experimented with in the Northern Territory of Australia. There have been both successes and failures. For example, landholders in the Northern Territory had...

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