Nature and the Marketplace: Capturing the Value of Ecosystem Services / Edition 1

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<p>In recent years, scientists have begun to focus on the idea that healthy, functioning ecosystems provide essential services to human populations, ranging from water purification to food and medicine to climate regulation. Lacking a healthy environment, these services would have to be provided through mechanical means, at a tremendous economic and social cost.<p>Nature and the Marketplace examines the controversial proposition that markets should be designed to capture the value of those services. Written by an economist with a background in business, it evaluates the real prospects for various of nature's marketable services to &quot;turn profits&quot; at levels that exceed the profits expected from alternative, ecologically destructive, business activities. The author: <ul> <li>describes the infrastructure that natural systems provide, how we depend on it, and how we are affecting it <li>explains the market mechanism and how it can lead to more efficient resource use <li>looks at key economic activities-such as ecotourism, bioprospecting, and carbon sequestration-where market forces can provide incentives for conservation <li>examines policy options other than the market, such as pollution credits and mitigation banking <li>considers the issue of sustainability and equity between generations </ul>.<p>Nature and the Marketplace presents an accessible introduction to the concept of ecosystem services and the economics of the environment. It offers a clear assessment of how market approaches can be used to protect the environment, and illustrates that with a number of cases in which the value of ecosystems has actually been captured by markets.<p>The book offers a straightforward business economic analysis of conservation issues, eschewing romantic notions about ecosystem preservation in favor of real-world economic solutions. It will be an eye-opening work for professionals, students, and scholars in conservation biology, ecology, environmental economics, environmental policy, and related fields.
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What People Are Saying

Kenneth J. Arrow
Kenneth J. Arrow, Stanford University:

Many environmentalists have distrusted economic analysis, feeling that it supported spoliation. Geoffrey Heal explains clearly, non-technically, and with the support of many examples drawn from real life, how economic principles not only maker clearer the environmental case but it can enhance the acceptance of conservation by reducing its adverse impacts. I consider this book essential for the environmental movement's further progress.

Gretchen Daily
Gretchen Daily, Stanford University:

Here, a world-class economist offers inspiring and compelling solutions to the major environmental concerns facing society. . . Engaging and insightful, and rich with examples from around the world, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in the human prospect.

Jane Lubchenco
Jane Lubchenco, Oregon State University:

Heal courageously tackles one of the central challenges of our day: How to make economic activities compatibile with protecting the natural environment on which societies depend. His treatment is enlightened, informed, and credible; his ideas are visionary yet practical. This book is the single best treatment of the economic aspects of ecosystem services to date. I strongly recommend it to anyone interested in the future of our planet.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781559637961
  • Publisher: Island Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 184
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Geoffrey Heal is the Paul Garrett Professor of Public Policy and Corporate Responsibility at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business in New York, and co-author of Economic Theory and Exhaustible Resources (Cambridge, 1980).

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