SHORT INFO — Does it help conservation to put a price on nature? — article and related LinkedIn discussion

What’s it about in short: arti­cle and related LinkedIn dis­cus­sion on the ben­e­fits and risks of eco­nomic val­u­a­tion of nature (with some ref­er­ences to bio­di­ver­sity offsets)

When was it released: Sep­tem­ber 11, 2015

By whom: Roger Har­ris, Bio­di­ver­sity Professionals

More info: and–6048136077074583555

Short extract:

From the arti­cle (Roger Harris)

Assign­ing an eco­nomic value to the ben­e­fits which nature pro­vides might not always pro­mote the con­ser­va­tion of bio­di­ver­sity, and in some cases may lead to species loss and con­flict, argues a Uni­ver­sity of Cam­bridge researcher.

From the LinkedIn com­ments (Jack Krohn)

“Folks, an inter­est­ing dis­cus­sion, and not one to which I think there’s a sim­ple answer. Bio­di­ver­sity off­sets seem to be applied in a very wide range of ways in dif­fer­ent places, with a com­pa­ra­bly wide-ranging spec­trum of envi­ron­men­tal out­comes. At their best, they can bring project pro­po­nents face to face with the need to make some form of resti­tu­tion for envi­ron­men­tal dam­age, as opposed to the older approach where envi­ron­men­tal assess­ment just reached a con­clu­sion about whether the impact (dam­age) was accept­able (with­out requir­ing any form of com­pen­sa­tion), so at a sim­ple level that would seem to be a step for­ward. But there also needs to be some real-world account­ing about whether the off­set rep­re­sents gen­uine com­pen­sa­tion for the impact, and still rul­ing out unac­cept­able impacts (such as extinc­tions) for which gen­uine off­sets can­not be applied. In terms of eco­nom­ics (and cheer­fully admit­ting not to be an econ­o­mist), the most com­pelling argu­ment I have heard for express­ing envi­ron­men­tal val­ues in mon­e­tary terms is that, whether we like it or not, most of the most influ­en­tial deci­sions about the envi­ron­ment are made by politi­cians and econ­o­mists. If envi­ron­men­tal advo­cates can’t frame an argu­ment in terms and lan­guage which res­onate with those decision-makers, we might try to con­sole our­selves with the thought that they were too stu­pid to under­stand, but that won’t reverse the deci­sions they make or the dam­age that results. Or make any dif­fer­ence to the next decision.”

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