Biodiversity in the Balance: Land Use, National Development and Global Welfare

Biodiversity in the Balance: Land Use, National Development and Global Welfare

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‘Recognising that international policy-makers are increasingly shifting away from the approach to biodiversity conservation that seeks to protect large, relatively undisturbed ecosystems, Raffaello Cervigni offers us a way to think about land use change and biodiversity loss in managed ecosystems. His very constructive and practical contribution to the economics of biodiversity loss is a step forward from the obsession with species preservation in biodiversity hotspots. It is well worth reading.’

- Charles Perrings, University of York, UK

‘No-one combines the practical experience with analytical expertise in biodiversity conservation better than Raffaello Cervigni. He has worked at so many levels on this problem - local, national, and global. This volume demonstrates the manner in which real world experience can inform the better understanding of biodiversity problem solving. I consider it essential reading for all academics and policymakers interested in the economic nature of thesolution to this problem.’

- Timothy M. Swanson, University College London, UK

‘The book proposes an original analysis of key aspects of the biodiversity debate and puts the major Mexican case study in context. It deals with some issuesthat have not been treated well analytically in the general literature, including incremental cost, land use gradients etc. The end result is that the story is a complex one, but we should not be too surprised that complex issues don’t have simple answers. There are very few studies that are so thorough or well researched, so it is going to repay careful reading.’

- David Pearce, University College London, UK

What are the best land use combinations to meet the social and economic needs of developing nations without jeopardizing the ability of natural systems to deliver their life-support functions? Based on theoretical analysis and original case study material, this book attempts to answer this question by studying the interactions between economic forces which can lead to land use changes and the subsequent loss of biodiversity. Raffaello Cervigni examines the policy options and management practices that may counteract these losses and encourage the development of sustainable land use and biodiversity conservation.

Biodiversity in the Balance summarizes the scientific and economic debate and highlights disagreements about the definitions of biodiversity management objectives. The author goes on to develop an original analytical treatment of the incremental cost financing mechanisms adopted by the Convention on Biological Diversity. Significantly, he undertakes a microeconomic study of land use change in a biosphere reserve in South-East Mexico. Based on an original data set, the author presents a detailed modeling exercise of resource and land use choices at the individual farm level with related projections of the impact at both community and regional levels. Techniques used include multi-period linear programming and dynamic stock-flow simulation. The book concludes by addressing policy implications and options for future research.