Global Habitat Protection: limitations of development interventions and the role for a permanent International Habitat Reserve
Ferraro, Paul J.
The maintenance of naturally occurring ecosystems is considered a requisite global social objective by many conservative biologists, social scientists, policy makers, and citizens. The current emphasis on the use of economic development interventions to maintain these ecosystems in low-income nations, however, may be misguided. Such interventions are plagued by the indirect nature of the incentives they generate, by the complexity of their implementation, and by their lack of conformity with the temporal and spatial dimensions of ecosystem conservation objectives. In contrast to complex development interventions, and International Habitat Reserve Program (IHRP) is a simpler and more direct approach. The IHRP is modeled after the agricultural land diversion schemes of industrialized countries and characterized by direct payments to individuals for supplying goods and services of global value. In many cases, an IHRP may be more flexible, equitable and efficient than current efforts to promote habitat and biodiversity protection. The purpose of this paper is to draw attention to and generate discussion about a system of direct payments for achieving ecosystem conservation objectives in low-income nations.
WP 2000-03 February 2000
Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University