Core issues in the economics of biodiversity conservation


  • Preferred citation: Clement A. Tisdell. 2011. Core issues in the economics of biodiversity conservation in “Ecological Economics Reviews.” Robert Costanza, Karin Limburg & Ida Kubiszewski, Eds. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 1219: 99–112.

Address for correspondence: Clement A. Tisdell, Professor Emeritus, School of Economics, The University of Queensland, Brisbane 4072, Australia.


Economic evaluations are essential for assessing the desirability of biodiversity conservation. This article highlights significant advances in theories and methods of economic evaluation and their relevance and limitations as a guide to biodiversity conservation; considers the implications of the phylogenetic similarity principle for the survival of species; discusses consequences of the Noah's Ark problem for selecting features of biodiversity to be saved; analyzes the extent to which the precautionary principle can be rationally used to support the conservation of biodiversity; explores the impact of market extensions, market and other institutional failures, and globalization on biodiversity loss; examines the relationship between the rate of interest and biodiversity depletion; and investigates the implications of intergenerational equity for biodiversity conservation. The consequences of changes in biodiversity for sustainable development are given particular attention.