Harnessing Markets for Biodiversity: Towards Conservation by Dan Biller, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and

By Dan Biller, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Working Group on Economic Aspects of Biodiversity

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Sample text

There are cases where it may be costly to exclude potential visitors. Excludability is a function of several factors including technology, institutional capacity, even cultural as discussed in a subsection below. 17 Eco-tourism may be defined as “responsible travel to natural areas which conserves the environment and sustains the well being of local people”(Eco-tourism Society website). From the existing guidelines on eco-tourism, three common elements emerge (Mader, 2000):  providing for conservation measures;  including meaningful community participation;  being profitable and sustainable.

BIODIVERSITY AS A “CLUB GOOD” The previous chapter dealt primarily with biological diversity and biological resources as (or close to) “private goods”. Most of the products discussed were therefore both excludable and rival in consumption. To a certain extent, they were linked to direct extractive uses where markets can more easily be established. However, many biodiversity goods and services are characterised as “club goods”. That is, they are excludable, but non-rival in consumption. Would non-rivalry preclude markets from assisting in the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity?

As these observations suggest, there are still many reasons for not engaging (or even abandoning) organic farming. At the farm level, failed producers are divided in two groups: those who either could not sell their produce or could not receive a sufficient premium; and, those who were motivated by lifestyle considerations and principles but had little experience and knowledge to secure a sufficient livelihood. Surveys indicate that: marketing and market incentives problems (travel distance from retail/wholesale outlets); cost issues; and lack of technical information are among the main causes for ceasing organic production.

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