Edited by Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh
Chapter 61: Ecological Principles and Environmental Economic Analysis
Car1 Folke 1. Introduction The rapid expansion of the scale of human actions has radically transformed the Earth (Turner et al., 1990). This transformation has turned the capacity of ecosystems to generate a continuous flow of natural resources and ecosystem services into an increasingly limiting factor for social and economic development (Jansson et al., 1994). But the need for functional ecosystems is scarcely reflected in market prices, seldom perceived by individuals, or fully taken into account by the institutions that provide the framework for human action, whether political or social. Its contribution to economic development and growth is still ‘mentally hidden’ to many actors of modern society. This is reflected, for example, in most models of economic growth where the necessity of the environmental resource base for human welfare is not accounted for (Dasgupta, 1997). The escalating globalization of human activities, population growth and large-scale movements of people have placed mankind in an era of unfamiliar dynamics and interdependence of ecological, social and economic systems at regional and even planetary scales (Daily and Ehrlich, 1992; Holling, 1994). They have become so interconnected that rational decisions by individuals locally, or on the project level, may spill over and generate regional and global effects, witnessed in, for example, climate change and the evolution of new diseases (Houghton et al., 1996; McMichael et al., 1996). It is a major challenge in this new situation, and for the prosperous development of human societies, to ensure the capacity of ecosystems to generate natural resources and...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.