Selected Empirical Analyses
- New Horizons in Environmental Economics series
Edited by Phoebe Koundouri
Chapter 10: The role of risk properties and farm risk aversion on crop diversity conservation
10. The role of risk properties and farm risk aversion on crop diversity conservation Salvatore Di Falco and Charles Perrings 1. INTRODUCTION The loss of biodiversity is causing major concern worldwide. Conservationists are, nowadays, less concerned with the extinction of a speciﬁc species but more with the overall loss of biological diversity. This is because the loss of genetic diversity implies a loss of the potential informational contributions embodied in species stock (Barrett, 1993). Biodiversity contributes also to the stability of ecosystems and a certain amount of biological diversity is vital to assure the capability of a system to work. In fact, ‘there is a threshold of Biodiversity below which most ecosystems cannot function under any given environmental condition’ (Perrings et al., 1995). Diversity is a fundamental component of the ability of the environment to support and sustain economic activities such as consumption and production. Environmental productivity plays a crucial role in short-term and long-term overall productivity. Following Pearce and Moran (1994), biodiversity can be described in terms of genes, species and ecosystems. This description corresponds to three fundamental and hierarchically related levels of biological organization: ● ● ● genetic diversity; species diversity; ecosystem diversity. Genetic diversity is the sum of genetic information that is contained in the genes of individual plants, animals and micro-organisms. Species diversity is considered to correspond to a population within which gene ﬂow occurs under natural conditions. Ecosystem diversity relates to the diversity and variety of habitats, biotic communities and ecological processes in the biosphere, and can...
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