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The Ecological Economics of Biodiversity

Methods and Policy Applications Paulo A.L.D. Nunes, Global Manager and Coordinator, Ecosystems Economics Unit, United Nations Environment Programme, Kenya, Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh, ICREA Professor, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain and Professor of Environmental and Resource Economics, Free University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Peter Nijkamp, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland, Jheronimus Academy of Data Science (JADS) in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands and the Universitatea Alexandru Ioan Cuza din Iasi, Iasi, Romania
The loss of biodiversity has put increasing pressure on the stability and continuity of ecosystems, and their ability to provide goods and services to mankind. This valuable new book addresses this issue and presents an integrated ecological-economic perspective on the analysis of biodiversity loss and conservation. It adopts a multidisciplinary approach and attempts both to provide a definition of biodiversity benefits as well as investigate alternative perspectives on biodiversity. The book also presents a classification of biodiversity values and effectively illustrates which economic valuation methods can best measure which type of biodiversity value.
Extent: 192 pp
Hardback Price: $127.00 Web: $114.30
Publication Date: 2003
ISBN: 978 1 84376 270 6
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Environmental Economics
  • Environment
  • Environmental Economics
  • Research Methods in the Environment
The loss of biodiversity has put increasing pressure on the stability and continuity of ecosystems, and their ability to provide goods and services to mankind. This valuable new book addresses this issue and presents an integrated ecological-economic perspective on the analysis of biodiversity loss and conservation. It adopts a multidisciplinary approach and attempts both to provide a definition of biodiversity benefits as well as investigate alternative perspectives on biodiversity. The book also presents a classification of biodiversity values and effectively illustrates which economic valuation methods can best measure which type of biodiversity value.

The distinguished authors move on to discuss the utility of the application of the economics-ecology interface and integrated modelling for the assessment of biodiversity values. In doing so, they consider the use of multi-criteria evaluation and meta-analytical methods to deal with the aggregation of information from multiple disciplines and past valuation studies, respectively. The book concludes by addressing the role of biodiversity indicators and monetary information for policy design and biodiversity management, devoting special attention to the certification and the ecolabeling of biodiversity benefits.

The integration of economic and ecological theories and methods, and the strong methodological orientation will be of immense benefit to students, academics and researchers of environmental economics, environmental science and ecology. Policymakers involved with nature policy and management will also find this volume to be of great practical value.
‘This is a very readable introduction to the ecological economics of biodiversity. Particularly useful is the careful presentation of four major concepts of biodiversity (genes, species, ecosystems, and functional uses) and their valuation. The authors address the concerns that biodiversity cannot (and should not) be valued, but then present the major economic valuation approaches that have been applied by economists to this thorny issue. A short volume (one of its virtues), the book is not designed to be a "cook book" that offers detailed explanations of various valuation approaches. Rather, the book should be seen as identifying the inputs or "ingredients" of a successful analysis. The authors pull together an impressive list of past valuation studies of biodiversity and biological resources and discuss their results, their coherence and the reasons why values may differ (often because seemingly similar studies really measure quite different attributes). In fact, this form of meta-analysis is one of the major contributions of the volume. The book ends with a short but useful chapter of conclusions and policy implications, thereby reminding us that the reason for the analysis of biodiversity uses and values is to design effective policies to ensure that more, rather than less, biodiversity is conserved for future generations. This book is highly recommended for all those who are interested in a better understanding of what biodiversity is, the likely economic values associated with it, and why it is being lost at such an alarming rate.’
– John A. Dixon, The World Bank, US
Contents: Preface Part I: Context 1. Overview 2. Biodiversity, Ecosystem Functions and Human Activity Part II: Bio-Ecological Foundations 3. Conceptualizing Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functions 4. Measuring Biodiversity Part III: Economic Foundations 5. Economic Analysis of Biodiversity Values 6. Measuring Economic Value of Biodiversity Benefits Part IV: Economics–Ecology Interface 7. Integrated Ecological–Economic Modelling and Analysis of Biodiversity 8. Multicriteria Evaluation 9. Research Synthesis and Value Transfer Part V: Policy and Conclusions 10. Biodiversity Policy 11. Conclusions Appendix: Red Book Classification of Species References Index