44 terms

Value of Biodiversity

hidden costs that individuals (not directly involved in the exchange) are forced to accept
market failure
market fails to maximize net benefits to society as a whole; occurs when resources are misallocated, few individuals/businesses benefit at the expense of larger society (which becomes less prosperous)
open-access resources
collectively owned and used by society
ex: air, water, soil
tragedy of the commons
Garret Hardin- value of open-access resource gradually lost to all of society; people, industries, government overuse and damage resources
ex: river for waste disposal
environmental impact assessments
consider present and future effects of projects on the environment
cost-benefit analysis
compares values gained against costs of the project or resource used; difficult to calculate because benefits and costs change over time; monetization
x discounting, x perverse subsidies
precautionary principle
better to not approve project that has risks and do no harm to the environment, than to unintentionally do harm
perverse subsidies
government promotes activities of specific industries (agriculture, fishing, energy production); supports many environmentally damaging activities
gross domestic product (GDP)
good for economy now, but has bad effects on environment in future; measures economic activity in a country without accounting for all the costs of unsustainable (+GDP) activities (ex: overfishing, strip mining)
genuine progress indicator (GPI)
says that many modern economies are achieving growth by unsustainable consumption of natural resources and loss of biodiversity
environmental sustainability index (ESI)
ranks countries according to health of/threats to ecosystems, vulnerability of society to protect the environment, participation in global environmental protection efforts
economic values divided into:
use values and non-use values
use values
split into direct use values (commodity values/private goods), and indirect use values
direct use values
values assigned to products harvested by people
ex: timber, seafood, medicinal plants
indirect use values
benefits provided by biological diversity that don't involve harvesting or destroying resources
ex: provide current benefits to people (recreation, education, scientific research)
ecosystem services and option value
ecosystem services
what the ecosystem naturally provides ex: water quality, pollution control, natural pollination and pest control, ecosystem productivity, soil protection, regulation of climate, carbon cycle, nitrogen cycle, water cycle
option value
determined by prospect for possible future benefits for human society
ex: new medicines, potential future food sources, future genetic resources
non-use value
existence value
existence value
assigned to biodiversity
ex: measure how much people and their government are willing to pay to protect species from going extinct/ecosystem being destroyed
--> bequest value
bequest value
how much people are willing to pay to protect something for their children/ future generations
direct economic values
calculated by observing activities of representative groups of people, monitoring collection points for natural products, examining import and export statistics
-->consumptive use value and productive use value
consumptive use value
goods consumed/exchanged on local level
ex: wild game, fuelwood
significant portion of protein in average person's diet in many developing countries
replacement cost approach
considers how much people would pay if they had to buy an equivalent product when the local source is no longer available
productive use value
products harvested from the wild and sold in markets; valued at price paid at first point of sale minus costs incurred up to that point
forest products
wood and wood products (timber, plywood, wood pulp), nonwood products (bushmeat, fruits, gums and resins, rattan, medicinal plants)
natural pharmacy
many medicines first discovered in wild species used in traditional medicine
indirect economic values
assigned to aspects of biodiversity that provide economic benefits without being harvested/destroyed during use; crucial to continued availability of natural products which economies depend on; (insects impact fish industry)
nonconsumptive use value
value of the great variety of environmental services provided by biodiversity; can't pay to replace these ecosystems if destroyed
ex: wetland ecosystems-water purification, nutrient recycling, flood control
ecosystem productivity
destruction of vegetation (bc overgrazing, overharvesting, frequent fires) will destroy system's ability to make use of solar energy
water and soil protection
p.59- water holding capacity of soil; logging, farming, human activities--> soil erosion, landslides, bad water supply, can destroy plants and animals
climate regulation
p.61. local-trees prevent soil erosion and heat loss in cold weather, regional-plants collect water and release to clouds again, global-loss of forested regions lead to altered weather patterns
species relationships
decline in a wildspecies of little immediate value to humans may result in a corresponding decline in a harvested species that is economically important (fish feed on wild insects and plants)
amenity value
monetary values of activities
ex: hiking, photography, birdwatching, state parks
people visiting places and spending money to experience unique ecosystems; gives money to locals to give up unsustainable practices
ex: coral reefs, African savanna
horseshoe crabs
(concept map)
option value (long term)
potential of biodiversity to provide economic benefit to human society at some point in future
searching ecosystems for new plants, animals, fungi, microorganisms to be used to fight human diseases
unauthorized collecting of biological materials for commercial purposes
existence value
benefit people get from knowing that a habitat/species exists, amount people are willing to pay to prevent extinction component: beneficiary/bequest value
total economic value of a tropical wetland ecosystem
p.71 chart
environmental ethics
articulates ethical value of natural world; furthering human well-being
environmental ethics (list)
1. intrinsic value: each species has right to exist and has a value unrelated to human needs
2. species interact in complex ways in natural communities
3. future generations will pay price of lower standard of living and quality of life; we're taking from the future
4. environmental justice: to empower poor and politically weak people to protect environments
deep ecology
all species have value in and of themselves, humans have no right to reduce this richness