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Nature in the Balance: The Economics of Biodiversity

By: Dieter Helm(Editor), Cameron Hepburn(Editor)

416 pages, 15 b/w illustrations, 32 tables

Oxford University Press

Hardback | Jan 2014 | #206599 | ISBN-13: 9780199676880
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £29.99 $39/€33 approx

About this book

Nature in the Balance: The Economics of Biodiversity sets out the building blocks of an economic approach to biodiversity, and in particular brings together conceptual and empirical work on valuation, international agreements, the policy instruments, and the institutions. The objective is to provide a comprehensive overview of the issues and evidence, and to suggest how this very urgent problem should be addressed. Whilst there has been an enormous growth and research focus on climate change, less attention has been paid to biodiversity. This collection of high-quality chapters addresses the economic issues involved in biodiversity protection.

Nature in the Balance: The Economics of Biodiversity focuses on the economics, but incorporates the underpinning science and philosophy, combining the application of a number of theoretical ideas with a series of policy cases. The authors are drawn from leading scholars in their specific areas of economics, philosophy, and conservation biology.

"How much is a Skylark worth? Are ten worth ten times as much? Is this less than ten Grey Partridges, or three bumblebee nests? Then, how does the economic value of a bypass or a housing development compare? Such questions may be anathema to some, but economists run the world and, like it or not, conservationists need to speak their language. Values will be given to nature anyway; conservation and economics must work together to do it properly.

The chapters in this useful book see leading conservation and economic thinkers in this area explore how to define biodiversity for valuation, using objective, scientific principles, and how economic techniques can be applied to the results. This includes the concept of ‘natural capital’ and how best to measure financial values for biodiversity. The book also considers adaptations for local to international scales and discusses practical policy and incentive developments for using valuations."
- Gavin Siriwardena, BTO book reviews


1: Dieter Helm and Cameron Hepburn: Introduction
2: Dieter Helm and Cameron Hepburn: The Economic Analysis of Biodiversity
3: Georgina M. Mace: Biodiversity: Its Meaning, Roles, and Status
4: Kathy J. Willis, Marc Macias-Fauria, Alexandros Gasparatos, and Peter Long: Identifying and Mapping Biodiversity: Where Can We Damage?
5: Ian J. Bateman and Grischa Perino: The UK National Ecosystem Assessment: Valuing Changes in Ecosystem Services
6: Giles Atkinson, Ian J. Bateman, and Susana Mourato: Valuing Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity
7: Pavan Sukhdev, Heidi Wittmer, and Dustin Miller: The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB): Challenges and Responses
8: Edward B. Barbier: Natural Capital
9: Kirk Hamilton: Biodiversity and National Accounting
10: Charles Palmer and Salvatore Di Falco: Biodiversity, Poverty, and Development: A Review
11: Tim Swanson and Ben Groom: Regulating Global Biodiversity: What is the Problem?
12: Daniela A. Miteva, Subhrendu K. Pattanayak, and Paul J. Ferraro: Do Biodiversity Policies Work? The Case for Conservation Evaluation 2.0
13: Stephen Polasky and Kris Johnson: Are Investments to Promote Biodiversity Conservation and Ecosystem Services Aligned?
14: Nick Hanley, Simanti Banerjee, Gareth D. Lennox, and Paul R. Armsworth: Incentives, Private Ownership, and Biodiversity Conservation
15: Jo Burgess, Chris J. Kennedy, and Charles F. Mason: On the Potential for Speculation to Threaten Biodiversity Loss

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Dieter Helm is a professor at the University of Oxford and a Fellow in Economics at New College. He is Chairman of the Independent Natural Capital Committee. Previous appointments include membership of the Prime Minister's Council of Science and Technology, and Chairman of the Academic Panel of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. He has also been a Special Advisor to the European Commissioner for Energy. He was the founding managing editor of the Oxford Review of Economic Policy and is currently an associate editor. He is an Honorary Vice President of the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust. He has written and edited a number of books, including The Carbon Crunch.

Cameron Hepburn is a senior research fellow at the Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics. He is also a research fellow at New College, Oxford and a senior visiting fellow at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment. He has advised governments, international institutions, and the private sector on environmental policy and strategy, and he currently serves as a member of the DECC Secretary of State's Economics Advisory Group. He is an associate editor of the Oxford Review of Economic Policy, and has degrees in law and engineering, a doctorate in economics from Oxford, and over 30 peer-reviewed publications in economics, public policy, law, engineering, philosophy, and biology.

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