People and Biodiversity Policies

Impacts, Issues and Strategies for Policy Action

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The implementation of biodiversity policies will often benefit different groups to a greater or lesser degree. For example, in establishing a property right to facilitate management of a biodiversity-related resource, people who previously had unrestricted use will be adversely affected. Combining analysis and a wealth of case studies, this book offers concepts and tools for addressing distributive issues in biodiversity policy. It will help policy makers put together strategies for anticipating distributive impacts across different groups; and for selecting processes and instruments that manage distributive impacts without compromising conservation and use objectives.

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Summary and Conclusions

Successful biodiversity policies improve welfare overall by correcting the fundamental externalities of managing biologically diverse habitats and ecosystems. Within the overall improvements, however, biodiversity policies can create winners and losers. OECD policy guidelines call explicitly for a consideration of these distributive effects on the absolute and relative wellbeing of different groups of people. This book has presented an analysis of the distributive impacts of biodiversity policies across different groups, across different spatial scales and across time. We have offered methods for measuring the impacts and explained the relationship between policy objectives, instrument choice and distributive outcomes. We have also considered arguments from the economic literature for addressing distributive issues within biodiversity policy choice, and offered different methods for integrating distributional concerns into policy-making and for managing conflicts induced by biodiversity policies. Finally, we have presented a wealth of case studies to document both the complex chains leading to distributive outcomes, and best practice in merging efficiency and equity considerations in policy design, implementation and ongoing management.

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