efficiency and adequacy in handling the uncertainty associated with environmental manipulations.

  • Study the impacts of rapid growth of international financial flows and markets on the environment in general, and on biodiversity in particular, in developing nations. For example, what effect do reforms mandated by the International Monetary Fund—including structural and sectoral adjustment programs and other liberalization reforms—have on biological resource depletion in debtor nations?

  • Document how policies and management for macroeconomic objectives can lead to mismanagement of economics based mainly on biological resources, particularly local microeconomies.

  • Compare the kind and degree of impacts associated with free-market and planned economies with respect to natural resource depletion.

  • Identify the global economic factors critical to sustainability in developing countries, and their relationship to social and environmental factors. Especially important in this regard are case studies in sustainable and unsustainable development. This may lead to the formulation of alternative resource indicators that can be compared to prices in monitoring changing resource scarcity.


The long-term conservation of biological diversity in developing countries will require biological and social research of the sort described elsewhere in this report. Most of the economic research described in this chapter, however, is intended to stimulate immediate action to stem the loss of biological diversity. Innovative valuation research can help to ensure that environmental goods, services, and amenities do not go undervalued, and hence underrepresented, in the economic assessment of development projects and policies. Causal mechanism analysis and research on economic incentives and disincentives can lead to the rectification of current policies and the development of constructive new measures. This action-oriented approach should guide all those who undertake the conservation of biological diversity from the economic perspective, even as the natural sciences and the other social sciences continue to provide the basic facts concerning life's diversity.

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