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Natural value: Pricing ecosystems, and its implications for conservation policy

Conservation ecologist Assoc. Prof. Brendan Wintle considers the difficult questions and dilemmas that arise in decisions around species and ecosystem conservation, and whether a monetary value can or should be applied to nature.

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

You don't have to look far to find stories of species or ecosystems under threat. Whether it's the critically endangered black rhinoceros in Africa or the local wetlands under threat from urban sprawl our collective failure to protect the world's natural heritage can seem exasperating. But in a world where resources to put toward protection are limited, making decisions about where to direct our efforts or how to prioritise our donations can be equally as frustrating and it's not just individuals who struggle with these choices. Governments too are often faced with difficult decisions. So how do we go about placing a value on our natural heritage? Should we even try to weigh the relative merits of saving one species or one ecosystem over another and how can government policies help to guide us through the murky waters of environmental decision making? To help us answer these questions I'm joined on Up Close today by Associate Professor Brendan Wintle, a Conservation Ecologist who has been working with economists and policy makers to improve environmental decision making. Brendan is based at the School of Botany here at the University of Melbourne and he is also Deputy Director of the National...

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