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  • Cited by 1
  • Print publication year: 2007
  • Online publication date: August 2009

Introduction

Summary

An introduction to biodiversity economics

Biodiversity economics examines the causes, values and policies associated with the problem of biodiversity decline. It usually involves a dynamic analysis of the living resources and hence it must often incorporate the facets of growth and responsiveness that are characteristics of such living things. In addition, it often focuses on the more esoteric forms of non-use values, such as real options and existence values, and the techniques available for quantifying them. Finally, it must also consider the manner in which decisions are taken in the context of such complicated dynamics and values. In sum, the field of biodiversity economics considers some of the interesting and complex dynamics within and between the social and natural worlds.

In this volume we attempt to categorise the various parts of this field under three headings: causes, values and policies. We then use a set of papers to demonstrate the meanings of these categories in this field and the development and extension of these concepts in this context. The intention is to demonstrate both the entire set of issues encompassed by the field of biodiversity economics and the manner in which frontier-level analysis and research is being undertaken within this realm.

Biodiversity economics is exciting and important work, as demonstrated by the various chapters within this volume. It encompasses both interesting topics and contexts (such as wildlife, forests and genetic resources) and important and complex problems (such as biological resistance, invasion and valuation).