The field of economics of agrobiodiversity (ABD) conservation and sustainable use has developed rapidly during recent years. A state-of-the-art review found that advances have indeed eased methodological/analytical constraints. A wide range of decision-support tools and analytical approaches have been successfully tested. These have been shown to provide good estimates of value and be useful for answering policy-relevant questions.
Yet despite this, this field would appear to have had relatively little influence on “real-life” ABD conservation policy design and implementation. An analysis of the national reports in the FAO's (2007) State of the World's AnGR (SoW) supports this view and reveals, at best, a patchy recognition of the importance of valuation and the potential future role of economics in the design of cost-effective conservation programmes. Potential reasons for this include a lack of awareness regarding the existence of appropriate methods and decision-support tools, data availability issues and a lack of capacity to both collect the necessary data through participatory mechanisms as well as to carry out the subsequent analysis. Translating the existing recognition of the importance of economics within the Global Plan of Action on AnGR into a mainstream activity will require significant awareness raising and capacity building.