Option values and biodiversity

Option values and Jenkins' essay on "prospects for biodiversity" (Science, State of the Planet, 14 Nov. 2003)

Jenkins' essay on "prospects for biodiversity" (Science, State of the Planet, 14 Nov. 2003) explains why we can expect a deepening biodiversity crisis - and why, apparently, this crisis doesn't matter much for human well-being. Resource needs, ecosystem services, perceived functions, and so on arguably are well provided for by (typically) low diversity anthropogenic lands, while "intact" lands arguably have few demonstrable benefits. This provocative "how much does it matter" analysis is not just a follow-on to the essay's discussion of biodiversity's prospects. It raises important issues itself about those prospects - both in what it includes and what it leaves out.

What does his analysis leave out? Nowhere considered are the option values of biodiversity - values calling for maintenance of variation for unknown future benefits.


E-Letter response to Jenkins:Option values and biodiversity

see also ABC Catalyst program, Dan Faith interview, which refers to unknown future benefits of biodiversity.

see also studiotalk discussion on Global Biodiversity Outlook 3, including the need for more attention to assessments relating to unknown biodiversity.  Dan Faith asks: "surprisingly GBO3 does not mention the vast number of species still unknown to science. Shouldn't a useful biodiversity outlook assess this and suggest ways to overcome this critical knowledge gap?"

Dr Dan Faith , Senior Principal Research Scientist email:danfaith8[at]yahoo.com.au
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