By R. David Simpson
What is the best way to preserve species-rich tropical habitats? During the past two decades, international conservation groups have attempted to save habitats by combining conservation with development. They have supported market activities such as ecotourism, forest product collection and marketing, and pharmaceutical research on natural organisms.
But many have been disappointed with the results. In this paper, David Simpson, a PERC Julian Simon Fellow, offers a market approach that he believes is more cost-effective: straightforward purchase of the desired conservation.
This paper, "Conserving Biodiversity Through Markets: A Better Approach," is part of the PERC Policy Series, which addresses timely topics involving markets and environmental issues. The series is published by PERC, the Property and Environment Research Center, in Bozeman, Montana, a nonprofit institute dedicated to improving environmental quality through property rights and markets.
R. David Simpson, who has just completed a year as a visiting professor at University College, London, was a Julian Simon Fellow at PERC in 2002. Known especially for his studies of conservation policy and environmental regulation, Simpson spent 12 years as a senior fellow with Resources for the Future, a nonprofit research organization in Washington, D.C. He has written many articles for academic and policy audiences, has edited three books, and frequently advises governments, international bodies, and scientific groups on biodiversity and conservation policy.