Economic valuation of biodiversity and ecosystem services has been presented as possibly the most powerful a powerful tool for halting the loss of biodiversity while maintaining incomes and livelihoods, yet rarely have such approaches been applied to tropical forest `hotspots', which house the vast majority of the planets plant and animal species.
This ground breaking work is the most comprehensive and detailed examination of the economics of environmental valuation and biodiversity conservation to date. The focus is on the Western Ghats of India, one of the top eight of the twenty-five biodiversity hotspots in the world, and tropical forests, recognized as the important ecosystems on earth from the point of view of global biodiversity. The Economics of Biodiversity Conservation addresses issues surrounding the economic valuation of biodiversity and various estimates of the economic value of tropical forests covering a cross-section of countries and regions as well as the status of biodiversity in the Western Ghats. Data is summarized in dozens of easy to reference tables, boxes and maps. Detailed case studies look at a cross-section of local communities and contexts living within or near sanctuaries and reserve forests, such as coffee growers, indigenous people, and farmers-cum-pastoralists to assess, to assess the use and non-use values that people derive from tropical forests, the extent of their dependence on forests for various goods and services, and an examination of their perceptions and attitudes towards biodiversity conservation and wildlife protection. Within the context of tropical forests, the authors also assesses people's Willingness to Pay (WTP) or Willingness to Accept (WTA) compensation for conserving biodiversity and wildlife, looking in particular at the case of elephants, which are a vulnerable keystone species in Asia. The Economics of Biodiversity Conservation concludes with an assessment of the institutional alternatives and policies for promoting biodiversity conservation through economic valuation methods.
- Land Use and Crop Pattern Changes, Pressure on Natural Resources and Status of Biodiversity in Selected Regions
- The Context of a Coffee Growing Village
- The Context of Tribal Villages Located within and near a National Park
- The Context of Agricultural-cum-pastoral Villages Located within and near a Wildlife Sanctuary
- Conclusions and Policy Recommendations
K. N. Ninan is Professor of Ecological Economics at the Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore, India. Earlier he was Visiting Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Tokyo, Japan. Dr. Ninan has also been a Visitng Professor/Fellow at the Institute for Developing Economies, Tokyo, Japan; Institute of Development Studies, Sussex, United Kingdom; University of Versailles, France; Maison des Sciences de L'Homme, Paris; and Unviersity of Tokushima, Japan.
"As Ninan observes in the Preface, rigorous empirical work on computation of costs and benefits of conservation is lacking, although the need for biodiversity conservation has received considerable attention [...] Within the task set, the present study is very well executed, and compels not only attention but also admiration."
– The Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol 63, No 1, Jan-March 2008
"This volume is a significant and timely contribution to the scholarship on the economic issues that underlie biodiversity loss in developing countries. [...] Useful and informative and will prove valuable to students, academics, researchers, natural resource managers, and policy makers."
– Collins Ayoo, University of Calgary. Natural Resources Journal
"the book lays down an important challenge for future valuation studies and for development of financial and political capacities to secure extra-local values of conservation..the book deserves to be part of any course [...] that addresses the valuation or governance of biodiversity and forest conservation [...] the book is a wonderful comprehensive overview of the socially and ecologically fascinating Western Ghats of value to students of forestry, anthropology, and South Asia."
– Jeff Romm, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Advance Access, March 1, 2010
"This book makes an important contribution to the economic valuation of biodiversity conservation in the tropical forests of one of India's two viodiversity hotspots, the Western Ghats [...] The book is exemplary in basing conclusions on evidence accumulated using established techniques."
– Graham Dawson, Forest Policy and Economics, 2007
"The case studies in the book provide new biodiversity insights and raise issues of global significance. This book deserves to be read by all who have an interest in the economics of biodiversity conservation."
– Clem Tisdell, Ecological Economics, October 2008