While biodiversity loss is an ecological phenomenon, it also has further dimensions – political, social and, last but not least, economic. From the economic perspective, the rapid loss of biological diversity can be viewed in two ways. First, the consequence of this deterioration process is a loss of options and an increase in scarcity of the environmental ‘good’, biodiversity. Second, economic activity and the structure of global and local economic institutions have frequently been identified as the major drivers of biodiversity loss. In economic terms, this constitutes a market failure – market-based economic activities lead to processes which undermine the long-term stability of these very activities.
This book provides an ecological economic perspective on the value of diversity in ecosystems. Combining insights from various sub-disciplines of ecology and environmental/ecological economics, the author constructs a conceptual framework which identifies the ways in which biodiversity influences human well-being and offers a novel, unifying perspective on the economic value of biodiversity.
This framework demonstrates that biodiversity’s economic value mainly results from uncertainty about the future, regarding both supply of and demand for ecosystem services, and interconnections between ecosystems. The book goes on to identify suitable methods for economic valuation of biodiversity and discusses the currently underdeveloped and underused approach of deliberative monetary valuation.
Combining a strong theoretical framework with practical examples, this book will be of great interest to students and researchers of ecological economics, ecosystem services, environmental values and environmental and resource economics.
"This is an excellent book and a must read for researchers interested in understanding and enhancing the new discipline of biodiversity valuation. The author provides a conceptual framework which re-organises current thinking and knowledge from economics and ecology to promote a renewed endeavour to reveal and measure the true value of biodiversity in a changing and uncertain world." — Douglas C. MacMillan, Professor of Environmental and Ecosystem Economics at the School of Anthropology & Conservation, University of Kent, UK
"For those wishing to ‘value biodiversity’, this book gives an excellent review of the feasibility and appropriateness of monetary valuation. Bartkowski challenges conventional economic theory, provides alternative perspectives on valuation and rationality, and highlights that valuation processes must recognise the abstract, uncertain links between biodiversity and wellbeing." — Marije Schaafsma, Senior Research Fellow in Geography and Environment, University of Southampton, UK
"In this timely and thought-provoking contribution, Bartkowski explores the complexity of the economic, ecological and philosophical dimensions of a ubiquitous but under-theorized topic: the economic valuation of biodiversity. This book is bound to become a must-read and to launch debates in the three disciplines that it contributes to renew." — Yves Meinard, Researcher at Université Paris-Dauphine, PSL Research University, CNRS, UMR , LAMSADE, France
Excursus: Biodiversity Value in Environmental Ethics