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Nature's Wealth: The Economics of Ecosystem Services and Poverty

  • Bridges a gap in current research to present new insights into a hot and emerging topic, providing concrete examples from all over the world
  • Applies and tests recent theoretical insights at the field level, making this a valuable tool for both academics and practitioners in the field
  • Each case study clearly explains the challenge addressed and explicitly formulates recommendations, encouraging policy-makers to find solutions in their own policy context

Series: Ecology, Biodiversity and Conservation

By: Pieter JH van Beukering(Editor), Elissaios Papyrakis(Editor), Jetske A Bouma(Editor), Roy Brouwer(Editor)

423 pages, 4 colour & 45 b/w illustrations, 68 tables

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Mar 2013 | #202196 | ISBN-13: 9781107698048
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £40.99 $53/€45 approx
Hardback | Mar 2013 | #202195 | ISBN-13: 9781107027152
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £81.99 $106/€90 approx

About this book

Increasing pressure from economic development and population growth has resulted in the degradation of ecosystems around the world and the loss of the essential services that they provide. Understanding the linkages between ecosystem service provisioning and human well-being is crucial for the establishment of effective environmental and economic development policy.

Presenting new insights into the relationship between ecosystem services and livelihoods in developing countries, Nature's Wealth: The Economics of Ecosystem Services and Poverty takes up the challenge of assessing these links to demonstrate their importance in policy development. It pays special attention to innovative management opportunities that improve local livelihoods and alleviate poverty while enhancing ecosystem protection. Based on eighteen studies in more than twenty developing countries, the authors explore the role of biodiversity-, marine-, forest-, water- and land-related ecosystem services, making this an invaluable contribution to research on the role of ecosystems in supporting the livelihoods of the poor around the world.

"[...]This is a very interesting volume, providing a well-researched series of illustrations of the nexus between ecology, economics and sociology that underlies the future management of sustainable ecosystem services in a wide variety of cultures. Looking at the problems from the bottom up rather than from the top down gives a very different and more pragmatic perspective. Implementing sensible policies in developing countries with poor legal systems, expanding populations and endemic corruption is another thing entirely. "
– David Walton, The BES Bulletin 45(2), June 2014


List of contributors

1. The economics of ecosystem services and poverty Pieter J. H. van Beukering, Elissaios Papyrakis, Jetske Bouma and Roy Brouwer

Part I. Biodiversity-related Ecosystem Services
2. Park-people conflicts, rhino conservation and poverty alleviation in Nepal Bhim Adhikari, Duncan Knowler, Mahesh Poudyal and Wolfgang Haider
3. Rural poverty and human-elephant conflicts in Sri Lanka Ron Janssen, L. H. P. Gunaratne, Roy Brouwer, Nirusha Ayoni, Priyanga Premaratne and Laksiri Nanayakkara
4. Poverty, livelihoods and the conservation of nature in biodiversity hotspots around the world Jetske Bouma, K. J. Joy, Vu Cong Lan, Alexander Lopez Ramirez and Maronel Steyn

Part II. Marine-related Ecosystem Services
5. The role of marine protected areas in alleviating poverty in the Asia-Pacific Pieter J. H. van Beukering, Lea M. Scherl and Craig Leisher
6. Economics of conservation for the Hon Mun Marine Protected Area in Vietnam Pham Khanh Nam, Herman Cesar, Tran Vo Hung Son and Pieter J. H. van Beukering
7. A multi-criteria approach to equitable fishing rights allocation in South Africa's Western Cape Ron Janssen, Alison R. Joubert and Theodor J. Stewart

Part III. Forest-related Ecosystem Services
8. Greening the charcoal chain in Tanzania Sebastiaan Hess, Pieter J. H. van Beukering, Godius Kahyarara, Eric Massey, Sabina di Prima, Victor Makundi and Kim van der Leeuw
9. Payments for environmental services in the protected areas of the Philippines Sebastiaan Hess, Eugenia Bennagen, Anabeth Indab and Arlene Amponin
10. The copper curse and forest degradation in Zambia Elissaios Papyrakis, Muyeye Chambwera, Sebastian Hess and Pieter J. H. van Beukering
11. Institutions and forest management in the Swat region of Pakistan Elissaios Papyrakis, Muyeye Chambwera, Sebastian Hess and Pieter J. H. van Beukering

Part IV. Water-related Ecosystem Services
12. Small scale water harvesting and household poverty in Northern Ethiopia Fitsum Hagos, Eyasu Yazew, Mekonnen Yohannes, Afeworki Mulugeta, Girmay G/Samuel, Zenebe Abreha, Gideon Kruseman and Vincent Linderhof
13. Water services, dam management and poverty in the Inner Niger Delta in Mali Bakary Kone, Pieter J. H. van Beukering and Leo Zwarts
14. The environmental and social impacts of flood defences in rural Bangladesh A. K. Enamul Haque, Luke Brander, Roy Brouwer, Sonia Akter, Wahid Abdallah and Sakib Mahmud
15. Double dividends of additional water charges in South Africa Jan van Heerden, Richard Tol, Reyer Gerlagh, James Blignaut, Sebastiaan Hess, Mark Horridge, Margaret Mabugu, Ramos Mabugu, Martin de Wit and Anthony Letsoalo

Part V. Land-related Ecosystem Services
16. Income poverty and dependence on common resources in rural India Urvashi Narain, Shreekant Gupta and Klaas van 't Veld
17. Tenure security and ecosystem service provisioning in Kenya Jane Kabubo-Mariara, Vincent Linderhof, Gideon Kruseman, Rosemary Atieno and Germano Mwabu
18. Pastureland degradation and poverty among herders in Mongolia Sebastiaan Hess, Enkh Amgalan, Ton Dietz, Tumur Erdenechuluun, Wietze Lise and Byamba Purev
19. Changes in welfare and the environment in rural Uganda Vincent Linderhof, Paul Okwi, Johannes Hoogeveen, Thomas Emwanu and John Begumana


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Pieter J. H. van Beukering is an Associate Professor in the field of environmental economics at the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) of VU University Amsterdam. Most of his research work takes place in Asia, the Caribbean, the Pacific and Africa, with a strong focus on natural resource management, economic valuation and poverty alleviation.

Elissaios Papyrakis is a Senior Researcher in environmental economics and climate change at VU University Amsterdam, and a senior lecturer in economics at the University of East Anglia. His work involves both theoretical and empirical analysis in development and environmental economics, with a particular emphasis on the economics of climate change, sustainable development and environmental management.

Jetske Bouma is a Senior Researcher at the IVM, VU University Amsterdam. She specializes in community-based natural resource management and the conditions for collective action, and her current work focuses on conservation-development trade-offs and synergies, community co-management and effective policy design.

Roy Brouwer is Professor and Head of the Department of Environmental Economics at IVM, VU University Amsterdam and also Professor of Water Economics at the Dutch National Research Programme 'Living with Water'. He is a recipient of a National Research Flagship Fellowship Award from CSIRO, Australia, for his work on water economics.

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