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Can Economics Enhance Ecological Restoration?

By Sayed Iftekhar

Economics has a lot to offer ecological restoration. A greater engagement with economics would enhance the likelihood of success for many restoration efforts.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

What would an economist know about ecological restoration? Well, while he or she may not be up on the taxonomy or ecology of the plants and animals being targeted in a restoration effort, an economist brings considerable expertise when it comes to evaluating the costs of a project – expertise that historically has been lacking in some of the solutions proposed by conservation scientists. Accurately evaluating likely costs is an important dimension of effective ecological restoration, however, the discipline of economics has so much more to offer.

Up front it needs to be said that ecological restoration is a complex process with many ecological, technical, social and economic challenges. Many of these can be addressed by applying sound economic principles and techniques. Here are four key aspects of restoration where economics can provide valuable assistance: estimation of restoration benefits; estimation of the costs of restoration; selection and prioritisation of projects; and securing long-term financial resources to support restoration.

In many cases, practitioners fail to demonstrate the links between the ecological restoration and society. In so doing they undersell the social benefits of restoration. Consideration of the broader social and economic benefits of restoration may help practitioners tailor their programs to promote better engagement....

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.