Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Evaluating policy instruments for the conservation of biodiversity in a changing climate

Gerling, Charlotte and Wätzold, Frank (2019): Evaluating policy instruments for the conservation of biodiversity in a changing climate.

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Climate change is a key threat for biodiversity. In order to mitigate this threat, ecologists suggest two conservation strategies: (1) enabling a species’ migration towards areas that will become suitable for the species as climatic conditions change and (2) creating climate refugia in which the species may persist even if the surrounding landscape is no longer climatically ideal. The policy instruments that could be used to implement these conservation strategies have so far not been evaluated comprehensively from an economic perspective. We develop a conceptual evaluation framework with the criteria ecological effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and dynamic incentives, which are criteria commonly applied in the economic analysis of environmental policy instruments. For each criterion, we develop of a set of specific evaluation criteria to assess policy instruments for species conservation under climate change. We apply the framework by conducting a conceptual analysis of three types of policy instruments – land purchases, offsets and conservation payments. A key finding of our analysis is that the degree to which a policy instrument is appropriate for species conservation depends strongly on the conservation strategy chosen.

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