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Assessing the economic value of agricultural biodiversity: a critical perspective

Code: 9781786768445
Corrado Topi, Stockholm Environment Institute at York, Department of Environment and Geography and Interdisciplinary Global Development Centre, University of York, UK; and Leonie J. Pearson, Stockholm Environment Institute, Thailand

Chapter synopsis: This chapter reviews developments in methods to assess the economic value of agricultural biodiversity, outlines their limitations and proposes a possible, novel way forward. The chapter discusses the different definitions of agrobiodiversity. It then highlights ways of evaluating agrobiodiversity. This is followed by two sections, the first introducing and discussing the ecosystem services framework (ESF) and its limitations, the second outlining the integrations of ecosystems interactions in the ESF. The chapter then explores two fundamental problems affecting the evaluation of agricultural biodiversity: the ecosystem services whose value cannot be derived from the market and uncertainty. On the basis of these considerations, the authors propose a novel way forward, the investor perspective, where by giving the natural environment the rights of a legal persona enshrined in a Bill of Rights, the authors address many of the drawbacks of current evaluation methods. The chapter concludes with recommendations for evaluators and decision and policy makers, and with an extended bibliography.

DOI: 10.19103/AS.2020.0071.06
Table of contents 1 Introduction 2 The relationship between definitions and economic approaches 3 What does valuing agricultural biodiversity mean? 4 The ecosystem services framework (ESF) 5 Ecosystem interactions 6 Understanding the limitations of ecosystem service valuations 7 The investor perspective: the natural environment as a legally structured persona 8 Conclusions 9 References

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