1932

Abstract

Biodiversity is declining worldwide, and the costs of biodiversity losses are increasingly being recognized by economists. In this article, we first review the multiple meanings of biodiversity, moving from species richness and simple abundance-weighted species counts to more complex measures that take account of taxonomic distance and functionality. We then explain the ways in which protecting biodiversity generates economic benefits in terms of direct and indirect values. Empirical approaches to estimating direct and indirect values are presented, along with a selection of recent evidence on how substantial these values are. The use of asset accounting approaches to track biodiversity values over time is discussed, in the context of sustainable development paths. Finally, we review some important challenges in valuing biodiversity that remain to be solved.

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2019-10-05
2024-04-13
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