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Sustaining Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functions

Economic Issues Clement A. Tisdell, Professor Emeritus, School of Economics, The University of Queensland, Australia
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.
Extent: 432 pp
Hardback Price: $154.00 Web: $138.60
Publication Date: 2015
ISBN: 978 1 78254 439 5
Availability: In Stock
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Environmental Economics
  • Environment
  • Environmental Economics
  • Management Natural Resources
The stock of the world’s biological diversity and the state of its ecosystems are major determinants of the availability of commodities, both essential and desirable, for human life. This leading-edge study provides an overarching and balanced approach to the economics of biological conservation; considering man made and natural components, and their interdependence.

Recognising the deficiencies of many contemporary studies, which focus almost entirely on natural capital, Clement Tisdell utilizes the concept of heritage biological capital, including germplasm, as part of his analysis of changes in the stock of biological capital. This comprehensive synthesis casts doubt upon some propositions and policies for resource conservation recommended by eminent ecologists in areas such as GM crops and livestock husbandry as well as agroecosystems and the concept of sustainable agricultural intensification. The propositions presented are lent strength by the author’s decision to relate his analysis to pertinent contemporary institutional developments and scientific advances.

The broad scope and rational scepticism with which this book has been compiled make it an ideal read for economists interested in ecological and environmental economics, natural scientists with an interest in biodiversity conservation and higher level policy makers in ecological and environmental fields.

‘A unique and comprehensive book on the value of biodiversity and genetic resources and on the economics of ecosystem services. It is really Tisdells’ legacy to future generations studying natural resource economics and management.'
– Guido Van Huylenbroeck, Ghent University, Belgium

‘With Sustaining Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functions Clem Tisdell has given us a framework to critically explore one of the overarching issues of our time—the unprecedented scale of the destruction of the biological systems upon which we ultimately depend. This book should become the definitive text for the economics of biodiversity and ecosystems.’
– John Gowdy, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, US

‘Ultimately, the book centres on explaining contemporary environmental economics, not theorizing ways to escape from current challenges, making it a highly informative, if not hopeful text.’
– Science and Public Policy
Contents: PART I BIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION: BASIC ECONOMIC ISSUES 1. An Introduction to the Economic Issues Involved in Sustaining Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function 2. Classifying the Stock of Genetic Resources and Ecosystems: Their Economic Nature and Patterns of Biodiversity Change 3. Socio-Economic Processes Transforming the Genetic Stock and Altering Ecosystems 4. Sustainable Development and Changes in the Genetic Stock and in Ecosystems PART II HUMAN DEVELOPED BIOLOGICAL CAPITAL: GERMPLASM AND ECOSYSTEMS 5. Crops and the Socio-Economics of Biodiversity Loss and Change 6. Livestock and the Socio-Economics of Biodiversity Loss 7. Advances in Genetic Engineering and Changes in Biodiversity and Ecosystems: Economic and Ecological Considerations 8. Human Developed and Modified Ecosystems: Their Economic Value 9. Declining Effectiveness of Techniques Designed to Control Pests and Diseases: Economics, Evolution and Human Choices 10. Property Rights in Human-Developed Genetic Material: An Economic Assessment PART III NATURAL BIOLOGICAL CAPITAL: WILD GENETIC RESOURCES AND NATURAL ECOSYSTEMS 11. The Conservation and Loss of Wild Biodiversity and Natural Ecosystems: Basic Economic Issues 12. Allocating Land Use to Minimize the Opportunity Cost of Conserving Wild Species in Their Natural Habitats 13. Property Rights in Non-Captive Wildlife and Biodiversity Conservation 14. Economic Incentives to Conserve Wildlife on Private Lands: Analysis, Policy and Examples 15. Biodiversity Conservation, Loss of Natural Capital and Interest Rates: The Relationships are Irregular 16. Valuing and Sustaining Natural Ecosystem Services: Assumptions, Estimates and Public Policies 7. Economics and Spatial Aspects of Ecosystem Use: Land Sharing Versus Land Sparing – Wildlife Conservation and Forestry Index