Rem 363 env 399 week 14 economics biodiversity
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REM 363/ENV 399 - Week 14 ECONOMICS & BIODIVERSITY. What is biodiversity and how much is being lost?. Biodiversity is defined by one source as: "… the variety and variability among living organisms and the ecological complexes in which they occur." (U.S. OTA)

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REM 363/ENV 399 - Week 14 ECONOMICS & BIODIVERSITY

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Rem 363 env 399 week 14 economics biodiversity

REM 363/ENV 399 - Week 14 ECONOMICS & BIODIVERSITY


What is biodiversity and how much is being lost

What is biodiversity and how much is being lost?

  • Biodiversity is defined by one source as:

    "… the variety and variability among living organisms and the ecological complexes in which they occur." (U.S. OTA)

  • Recorded biodiversity (species) loss since 1600:

    • vertebrates … 337 species

    • invertebrates … 389 species

    • plants … 90 species

  • Recent losses may be 128 (birds) to 176 (mammals) times the background rate


Proximate superficial causes of biodiversity loss

Proximate (superficial) causes of biodiversity loss

  • vulnerability factors (e.g. polar bear)

  • habitat destruction (e.g. tall and short grass prairies of North America)

  • bio-invasions - refers to the introduction of an alien species to a new habitat (e.g. feral cats, rabbits in Australia).

  • overharvesting - rarely leads to extinction (e.g. various whale species)


Underlying reasons for biodiversity loss

Underlying reasons for biodiversity loss ..

  • Market failure explanations (e.g. public goods, externalities, lack of property rights, trade and invasives, etc.)

  • Policy failure explanations (e.g. clearing and drainage for agriculture)

  • An example .. conservation in tropical protected areas

  • Also,

    “Human society has a choice in regard to the amount of biodiversity that will be retained along its development path, and this choice has thus far been made in a haphazard fashion” (Swanson 1995:2)


Rem 363 env 399 week 14 economics biodiversity

Conservation Challenges in a National Park in a Tropical Country

Park Protection

Farming

Vulnerable

Species

Access to

natural resources

Eco-tourism

Livelihood

Poaching


Economics and which species to preserve

Economics and which species to preserve

  • Initial (and narrow) view: single species valuations:

    • Grizzly bear …. $18.50

    • Bald eagle …. $12.40

    • Blue whale …. $9.30

    • Bighorn sheep …. $8.60

    • California sea otter $8.10

    • Whooping crane …. $1.20

      [Generally, these are annual willingness-to-pay per household]

  • Ecological economics view: focus on uncertainty!

  • Conventional economics view: benefits minus costs


More complex views of biodiversity value

More complex views of biodiversity value

  • Biodiversity value and genetics

    • Weitzman (1992) proposed measuring biodiversity in relation to genetic distance

    • strategy that minimizes the loss from extinction is the one that permits one species of a closely related pair to go extinct

  • Another view concerns the probability of extinction and cost of improving the odds of increasing probability of survival

  • Noah’s ark problem (Metrick & Weitzman 1998)

    • combines these and previous approaches in order to select which species to preserve, given limited resources for conservation

    • when results are compared to real conservation expenditures, they differ significantly from what the model predicts


Convention on biological diversity 1992

Convention on Biological Diversity (1992)

  • Came into force in 1993 & ratified by 193 countries and signed by 168 (as of Nov 2010)

  • Funding for protected areas, national strategies, training & education programs & international co-operation

  • Interesting aspects:

    • Global Environment Facility (GEF)

    • Acting without ‘full knowledge’ ..

      “Noting also that where there is a threat of significant reduction of loss of biological diversity, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to avoid or minimise such a threat.”

    • Application of the ‘Precautionary Principle’


Rem 363 env 399 week 14 economics biodiversity

Economic Incentives and Poaching of the One-horned Indian Rhinoceros in Nepal


Rhinoceros in nepal s chitwan national park

Rhinoceros in Nepal’s Chitwan National Park

  • Background on rhino in Nepal

    • high level of poaching for horn

    • significant expenditures on protection

    • parks-people conflicts

    • substantial tourism benefits

    • some community management now

  • In situ policy approaches to conserve rhino:

    • Enhanced patrolling and enforcement within park

    • Community-based wildlife (CBWM) management with household level incentives


Park people conflicts are an issue

Park-people conflicts are an issue ...


A protected areas and incentives for rhino poaching

a) Protected areas and incentives for rhino poaching

  • Following Milner-Gulland and Leader-Williams (1992):

    π = p - Pc (f + p) - c

    πis the financial gain from poaching rhino

    pis the price from the sale of one animal

    Pcis the probability of capture and conviction

    f is the fine for a conviction of poaching

    cis the cost for supplies to bag one animal


Rem 363 env 399 week 14 economics biodiversity

Empirical results for rhino in Nepal

  • Before intensification of anti-poaching:

    Rs10,000 - .05 (Rs25,000 + Rs10,000) - Rs570 = Rs7680 (US$135)

  • After intensification of anti-poaching and increase in fine:

    Rs10,000 - .15(Rs100,000 + Rs10,000) - Rs570

    = Rs -15,570 (- US$273)

  • Incentive for poaching has reversed ..

  • An alternative .. community-based eco-tourism ??


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