Conference Home Page | About ISEE 2000 | Organising Bodies | Location | Program Schedule | Abstracts | Index of Presenters | Pre-Conference Workshop | Field Trips | ISEH 2000 | Electronic Mini-Conference | Post Conference Tours | Travel and Accommodation | Childcare | Registration Form | Organisers and Acknowledgements | Contact Organisers | Call for Exhibitors

Plenaries | A-C | D-H | I-M | N-R | S-Z


Shinichiro Nakamura
Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan

Input-output analysis of waste disposal and recycling

Any production activity including the recycling of waste materials and consumption emits waste. The waste disposal sector transforms a given type of waste into different types of goods and wastes. Just as goods producing sectors are related to each other through input-output relationships, goods producing sectors and waste management sectors (recycling and disposal) are related to each other through extended input-output relationships involving both goods and waste. Each of the goods producing and waste management sectors is characterised by different material requirements and environmental emissions. Looking at the extended input-output relationships will be necessary to resolve the question of whether recycling of waste results in an overall increase or an overall decrease in environmental emissions. I elsewhere proposed Waste Input-Output (WIO) tables and an associated model that describes the interdependence among goods production, waste emissions, and environmental emissions. The model can evaluate environmental emissions associated with a given matrix of technical input-emission coefficients representing the technology and institutions, and a given vector of final demand representing life-style. This paper reports results of the estimation and application of the WIO table for Japan. The table identifies 60 industry sectors, 24 waste types, four waste disposals (shredding, incineration with power generation options, melting, and landfill), and two environmental emissions (carbon dioxide and landfill volume). The model was used to evaluate economic and environmental effects of several recycling and waste disposal options, which include power generation from waste heat, and the use of waste plastics as a reduction agent in blast furnaces.


Anitra Nelson
RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Round the Bend Conservation Co-operative

Round the Bend Conservation Co-operative was formed nearly thirty years ago by a group of people who wanted to actively preserve the Australian bush on a small scale. The Co- operative, which stretches over 326 acres of bushland, tries to show that with proper management and planning conservation of the natural environment and community settlement can both be achieved side by side.


Anitra Nelson
RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

(Human) Nature divided

Conventional economics define money in terms of its functions and tend to simply assume that money is the most adequate measure of value as well as a convenient means of exchange, means of deferred payments and store of value. In an external (transdisciplinary) critique, utility and labour theories of analysing value are also problematic. Ecological economists need theories of value and money consistent with the social principles of developing and maintaining ecologically sustainable behaviour. The ways that economic anthropologists have analysed nonmonetary exchanges in noncapitalist societies may be useful for alternative ways of modelling market exchanges in advanced capitalism.


Eric Neumayer
London School of Economics, London , United Kingdom

How regime theory could learn from the economic theory of international environmental cooperation and vice versa: a plea for inter-disciplinary research

Economic theorists of international environmental cooperation and regime theorists who focus on the environment ask the same two basic research questions: why does international environmental cooperation emerge in some cases, but not in others, and why is cooperation 'deep' in some cases, but not in others? Unfortunately, the two disciplines of social science do not collaborate much in their respective attempts to answer these and related questions. Instead, mutual neglect is the rule. I show how regime theory can learn from the findings of the economic theory of international environmental cooperation on the requirements of credibility and renegotiation-proofness for international environmental agreements. In turn, I show how economic theory can learn from the institutionally rich analysis of regime theory. Finally, I show how both can fruitfully learn from each other on topics such as the role of uncertainty in international environmental cooperation, the reasons for compliance and the effectiveness of unilateral emissions abatement by one country. An exploitation of mutual learning opportunities is likely to lead to a more comprehensive understanding of international environmental cooperation and can ultimately result in better informed policy advice. The paper ends with a plea for inter-disciplinary future research. It presents several issues that could form part of such an agenda for future research. Two major aspects of this agenda should be an elaboration of the role regimes play in developing social norms, conventions and considerations of fairness that limit free-riding and how issue linkage can be used to make international environmental regimes self-enforcing and renegotiation-proof.


Simon Niemeyer
Research School of the Social Sciences, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Russell Blamey
Health Insurance Commission, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Political symbols and deliberative substance: values and preferences in an institutional context

Implications for environmental valuation and public choice of the relationship between individual attitudes and preferences and the institutional environment are considered in this paper. It is argued that public input into environmental decision making using simple preference aggregation will fail to capture the shape individual preferences might have taken once the layers of misinformation and entrenched views are peeled back in an information rich deliberative environment. This is particularly important for controversial issues. Controversial environmental issues are often characterised by polarised information disseminated by various interests. Public debate often hinges most strongly on symbolic issues as a mechanism for coping with complexity, which often resonate with underlying institutional factors. Among individuals, these factors often give rise to strongly lexicographic preferences and symbolic attitudes. However, when given the opportunity to fully explore the issues in a deliberative environment these symbolic preferences give way to more considered examination of the issues. As a result expressed preferences shift from their original ordering. This paper will present the results of a Citizens' Jury conducted for a case study in Queensland concerning a controversial road in World Heritage listed rainforest. Results show that preference rankings and attitudes shifted during the process, with individuals tending to become more environmentally sensitive, community spirited and more concerned with integrated approaches to the issue. The paper concludes that if ecological economics is to succeed in understanding human and environment interactions then this nexus between political institutions and people's values within the environmental policy arena must be properly understood.


Karachpone Ninan
Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Watershed development programs in India: an assessment from the perspective of poverty reduction and the poor

Watershed development programs (WDPs) have been initiated in India to improve and sustain the productivity and production potentials of the ecologically fragile and disadvantaged hill and dry or semi-arid regions of the country at higher levels. This has been achieved through the adoption of appropriate production and conservation techniques as well as by meeting the needs of local rural communities for food, fuel, fodder and timber. In view of their potential for growth, improving the income levels of rural communities and the natural resource base of the disadvantaged regions of the country, watershed development projects (WDPs) have been accorded priority in the aid portfolio of donor agencies. This paper tries to assess four European-aided WDPs in India from the perspective of the poor and poverty reduction. Other aspects such as gender sensitivity, people's participation, role of NGOs and local level institutions, institution building and the overall effectiveness and impact of these project interventions are also examined. The paper notes that these WDPs have been beneficial in a number of respects, viz., improvement in crop yields and incomes as well as conservation of natural resources. However, the benefits have tended to favour the landed groups, whereas the landless and scheduled castes and tribes have benefited only marginally.


Takaaki Niren
Department of Environmental Planning, University of Shiga Prefecture, Hikone, Shiga, Japan

Regional material balance within a watershed

The conditions of regional material balance measure the environmental health of a region. A region receiving an inflow of materials from other regions will accumulate surplus materials, which exceed the necessary materials circulating within the regional system. This situation indicates eutrophication. Adversely, a region supplying an outflow of materials to other regions will lose its material resources and this induces oligotrophication. Both situations of regional material imbalance damage environmental health. In this paper, I investigate changes of material balance within a catchment, the Lake Biwa catchment, employing catchment input-output accounts. Then I discuss implications of material imbalance and make suggestions for environmental management policy in the catchment. About eighty years ago, the Lake Biwa catchment was an agricultural area with a population of 720,000. It produced and exported agricultural products. As farmers were eager to increase the yield of rice production, they applied a large amount of fertiliser to their paddy fields. They applied not only local natural fertiliser but also imported chemical fertiliser. About 77 per cent of the total fertiliser used was imported from outside the catchment. As a result, they produced more rice, which they could export. They also produced other crops and exported them. Thus, the nitrogen balance of the catchment agricultural system was a surplus of 24,891 t-N/yr. However, they did not experience lake water eutrophication until 1960. Those facts suggest that there was a denitrification process within the catchment. This process was maintained by the cyclical water use system developed to prevent water shortage. The nitrogen account was balanced by the cyclical water use system of the catchment . From this case study, I consider the policy implications for material balance.


Sabine O'Hara
Green Mountain College, Poultney, Vermont, USA

Open-format session

Ecological economics education -- initiatives and needs

This participatory discussion forum will offer a brief overview of education initiatives and solicit input from participants regarding ISEE members' and associates' needs and interests in education initiatives from undergraduate to graduate, professional and general education on Ecological Economics.


Hiroyasu Oka
Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Kukizaki, Ibaraki, Japan

Hidesato Kanomata
Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Kukizaki, Ibaraki, Japan

Does the type of surrounding forests make any difference on the price of residential land? And why?

This study uses multiple regression analysis to test whether the price of residential land is affected by the type of nearby forest. Prices of residential land are used as the dependent variable and the variables that represent urban convenience, budget constraints of local residents, development costs, and the type of forest in the municipality are used as independent variables. Data for some 700 municipalities all over Japan are used for this analysis. It is observed that the proportion of natural forest to the total forest area is positively related with residential land price and the proportion of planted forest to the total forest area is negatively related with the land price in a large part of Japan. It is also observed that the volume of timber per unit area of the forest is positively related with residential land prices in some parts of Japan. Some of the forest-related variables may be related with the development cost of new residential land, while other forest-related variables may be related with the amenity value of the residence. After considering both of these possible explanations, we come to the tentative conclusion that natural forests are likely to have larger amenity value than planted forests and this amenity value is capitalised in the residential land price.


Christien Ondersteijn
Farm Management Group, Department of Social Sciences, Wageningen University, The Netherlands

Gerard G. Giesen
Farm Management Group, Department of Social Sciences, Wageningen University, The Netherlands

Ruud B. M. Huirne
Farm Management Group, Department of Social Sciences, Wageningen University, The Netherlands

The mineral accounting system: analysis of environmental and economic performance of 240 farms in the Netherlands

In recent decades, surface and groundwater across Europe, which is partly intended for human consumption, is being polluted by nutrient run-off and leaching from agricultural sources. To contain this pollution, the European Union issued the Nitrate Directive (91/676/EEC) to establish a safety standard of 50 mg of nitrate per litre of groundwater. In response to this, the Netherlands implemented the Mineral Accounting System (MINAS), which focuses on nutrient flows (nitrate and phosphate) on individual farms, and taxes farms whose nutrient surplus exceeds a defined limit, known as the Levy Free Surplus (LFS). LFS will gradually be reduced, until the safety standard is met in 2008. To investigate the feasibility of the LFS, and the impact of MINAS on farm performance, detailed panel data of 240 randomly selected farms were collected from 1997 through 1999. This paper describes and analyses the results for 1998; the first year MINAS was operational. MINAS-surpluses differed dramatically between farm types, ranging from 55 kg N/ha for arable farms up till 296 kg N/ha for mixed dairy and livestock farms. Within farmtype analysis showed even larger differences in surplus ranges - up to 420 kg N/ha for dairy farmers. Still, in 1998, 78% of the farms did not exceed the LFS and both intensive and extensive farms were able to meet the standards. Unchanged nutrient management will, however, lead to average levies as high as 128 Euro/ha for 87% of the farms in 2008. At the individual farm level, this can seriously threaten viable economic performance.


Raul O'Ryan
Environmental Economics and Management Program, Industrial Engineering Department, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile

Sebastian Miller
Sustainable Development Area, Center for Public Policy Analysis, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile

Carlos J. de Miguel
Sustainable Development Area, Center for Public Policy Analysis, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile and Complutense Institute of International Studies, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain

Is there a double dividend from green taxes in Chile?

The successful economic growth path followed by Chile, based on open markets and an export strategy, is characterised by a high dependence on natural resources, and by polluting production and consumption patterns. There is increasing concern about the need to make potentially significant trade-offs between economic growth and environmental improvements. Additionally, policy-makers have been reluctant to impose standards that could have regressive consequences, making the poor poorer. Using a Computable General Equilibrium framework, the use of taxes on PM10, SO2 and NOx emissions and on fuel is evaluated for the Chilean economy. The ECOGEM-Chile model is used to evaluate the impacts on emission levels, sectoral production, and household welfare. The results show that: the distributive impacts depend very significantly on how the proceeds from taxes are redistributed. Choosing the pollutant that is taxed is very important since the environmental effectiveness of the tax is substantially different depending on the pollutant chosen; and even though some sectors can be very significantly affected, aggregate GNP is not.


Aaron Padilla

Department of Geography,University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

The Ogoni in Nigeria: a study of the institutions of global environmental accountability

The conflict between the Ogoni, multinational oil companies, and the Nigerian government has received considerable attention, in both popular media and academic discourse. Four years on from the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa, this paper conceptualises the conflict according to a new comprehensive framework and provides insight from ongoing empirical research in Nigeria and beyond. The Ogoni movement represents a paradigmatic test case of the dynamics of a global social movement confronting the institutions of global and local inequity through the window of the environment. How and why did environmental degradation emerge as the celebrated cause? Environmental degradation plays an important dual role for the Ogoni movement, both as the 'push' for action in light of decades of oil exploration in the Niger River Delta and as the 'pull' of an issue vehicle with which to appeal to constituencies in the developed world. In an era where material prosperity rests on global capitalist links, social movements like the Ogoni work to redefine corporate and political institutions in order to achieve environmental accountability and political autonomy. To date the Ogoni have met with mixed results in their quest to close a global political loop of environmental accountability. This paper raises important questions for the synthesis of political ecology and ecological economics and provides insight into the power structures that enable and inhibit the ecologising of the economy.


Thangavel Palanivel
Institute of Advanced Studies, United Nations University, Shibuya-Ku, Tokya, Japan

Toward sustainable development: An overview of concepts,indicators and frameworks

Although the term sustainable development was used as early as 1972 at the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm (Sweden), it was not until 1987 in the Brundtland Commission report entitled "Our Common Future" that the term was fully defined and translated into policy options. Since then it emerged as one of the core concepts discussed in the development literature and will become of ever growing importance in the 21st century. It has already become the guiding principle of many development agencies. It is a primary focus not only within both natural resource and economic debates, but also increasingly in fields such as social development, health and education. The importance of sustainability was highlighted in the "Earth Summit" in Rio in 1992 (which adopted the actions enshrined in the Agenda 21 program), and reiterated in the "Rio+5" summit in 1997. The U.N. Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was created to ensure effective follow-up and implementation of Earth Summit agreements. The year 1999 marked the 12th anniversary of the publication of the report of the Brundtland Commission and the 7th anniversary of the 1992 "Earth Summit". It provides the last chance for major policy corrections before the new millennium. A review and an inventory of accomplishments in sustainable development are necessary preconditions for any decisions to be made. How does one view progress toward sustainable development? The question is simple and its importance is clear, but easy answers do not exist. In this paper, we first analyse the meaning and practical significance of the concept of sustainable development and how this concept can be turned into a reality. We then describe the critical importance of indicators of sustainable development and provide a review of various indicators and framework currently in use.


Rita Pandey
National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi, India

Tradeable permits for industrial air pollution control in India

The pollution control regime in India is characterised by command and control type systems. Currently, government regulations on emissions and discharges apply to each discharge point within a steel plant rather than at the factory gate. There have been no efforts to complement the present system with economic instruments of pollution control, which offer ways to minimise the total cost of pollution abatement and achieve cost effective pollution control. One such instrument is tradeable permits. Tradeable permits can be of two types; those that allow inter-plant trading and those, which allow the different discharge points of a large firm to make trades among themselves. This offers the firm the option of reducing pollution loads beyond discharge limits at one or more discharge points and crediting the reduction to other discharge points so that the predetermined level of an environmental standard or pollution reduction is met. This paper attempts to design an intra-plant trading scheme for an integrated steel plant in India. A trading system has been designed for SPM, which is a non-uniformly dispersed pollutant. Owing to the nature of the pollutant an air quality modelling technique is used to determine the extent of trading between various emission sources such that the ambient air quality in the region (20 x 20 km area around the industry) does not deteriorate due to emission trading. The study takes the ambient air quality standards as a benchmark. Given the technical limits on trading of emissions, relative costs of abatement of SPM across emission sources determine the final trading pattern. Total and marginal costs of abatement of SPM for various emission sources have been computed using the plant level primary data on cost of abatement as well as engineering estimates of abatement cost. It is shown that the system of emission trading leads to a substantial reduction in emissions from the industry in a cost effective manner contributing to enhancement of social gains. The results point towards the importance of supplementing the existing CAC type legislation with economic measures such as tradeable permits for intra-plant trading. The importance of achieving coherence with existing policies, building trust among key stakeholders, and gradually phasing in economic instruments is also emphasised.


Murray Patterson
School of Resource and Environmental Planning, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Contributory value and ecological prices of biosphere processes

In light of the publication by Costanza et al. (1997) in Nature, the 'subjective preference' theory of value of Neoclassical Economics is critically reviewed, in terms of its appropriateness for valuing ecosystem services. It is argued that the 'subjective preference' approach almost inevitably leads to vital ecosystem processes and species being either ignored or undervalued, because it depends on human perceptions which can be limited and biased. A new biophysical theory of value based on an ecological characterisation of ecosystems (mass and energy flows) is then proposed, building in earlier work by Amir (1989) and Costanza and Hanno (1989). By solving a system of simultaneous linear equations, these energy and mass flows are commensurated, thereby providing an operational definition of the contributory value of ecosystem processes. In addition the solution of these equations, leads to the quantification of 'ecological prices' of ecosystem services. These 'ecological prices' are determined by the biophysical interdependencies in the ecosystem, rather than by human perceptions of value as in neoclassical pricing. This methodology is finally applied to the valuation of selected ecological processes and systems, such as global biogeochemical cycles. These valuations are shown to provide strikingly different results and insights, than those obtained by using standard valuations techniques from Neoclassical Economics.


John Peet
University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

Freedom. . . to choose an ecological economics of sustainability

Currently dominant neoclassical theories of economics are (inter alia) centred on behaviour of the utility-maximising construct homo economicus. These theories are, in turn, influenced to a substantial extent by political ideas about the meaning of 'freedom', promoted by writers such as Hayek, Friedman and Buchanan. The result is a mechanistic theoretical structure, analogous to19th Century classical physics. In this paper, it is argued that, in practice, the individualist approach implies a consequentialist ethic and thereby effectively precludes the possibility of inclusion of a deontological approach arguably necessary to protect Society and the Environment from the worst effects of economic activity. As 20th Century physics, sociology and ecology have shown, open systems behaviour is characterised by systemic complexity, not a simple mechanistic approach to 'equilibrium'. Far from being economic robots, people in society are in reality complex social animals. It is argued that the meaning of 'freedom' must therefore be expanded to fully incorporate the collective dimension -Community and Environment taken as a whole. If this is done, it leads to a markedly different political perspective that requires a different - ecological - economics of sustainability, where responsibilities are as important as preferences. In such a situation, with a values base constructed in the context of Community, and the best of scientific resourcing, the Precautionary Principle would take centre stage, rather than the Risk Analysis approach conventionally used. Some possible consequences of such a change of perspective are examined.


Walter Alberto Pengue
Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina

J. H. Morello
Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina

G. D. Buzai
Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas, Argentina

Economic and ecological risks of a wrong environmental policy: widespread releasing of transgenic crops in Argentina

Transgenic crops are those that receive genes from another species that codify a desirable agronomic trait. Since 96/97 a commercial release of transgenic soybean - RR, resistant to the herbicide glyphosate - is being planted in Argentina, making the country the second world producer of transgenic crops. Even though technology transfer to growers has been completed, research of the mid and long term ecological and economic productivity effects are not complete or have not even been done. Historically, Argentina has not had serious problems with its natural resources following the initiation and intensification of the 'green revolution' in the country. Only in the case of soil, erosion has been important as a consequence of incorrect management and adoption of the package for soybeans without proper evaluation of the environmental context. But nowadays, adding to the problems with the soil resource, the entire ecosystem is involved. The 'new biorevolution' will allow an increase in agricultural cycles, diminishing the length of fallow, and increasing the impacts and pressure on natural resources. The paper analyses a model that is intended to identify the main points that may produce direct and indirect ecological effects due to transgenic crops. We apply GIS information reflecting the development of transgenic crops in the area and the changes and detrimental effects in landscape patches. This approach shows the principal interactions of this kind of biotechnology with critical environmental and social variables. The identification of these variables will allow us to make the necessary suggestions to aid sustainable use of our natural resources. Probably, this new information could generate a discussion of policies that government and policy-makers have not yet discussed widely with all social groups.


John Pezzey
Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Ross Lambie
Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Equity and efficiency in the distribution of tradeable permits for greenhouse gas emissions

We explore the efficiency and equity arguments for distributing the value of tradeable permits for greenhouse gas (GHG) missions, in proportion to the final incidence of control costs needed to meet the overall emissions target. Value could be distributed either by giving away some free permits, or by recycling the revenue from auctioning some permits. For concreteness the arguments are developed in the context of electric power stations in Australia against the background of the Kyoto Protocol, but they could be applied to any economy where adequate data exist. Calculations will show how big the mismatch is between current emissions of GHGs and the incidence of control costs. In the example of a coal mine that supplies coal to a power station which in turn supplies electricity to an aluminium smelter, the great majority of the GHG emissions come from the power station, but the main control costs will be reduced output and profitability for the mine and the smelter. So pure grandfathering of permits (giving free permits in proportion to existing emissions) will be very inequitable, and will threaten the political acceptability of GHG control policy. We further consider the ability of available computable general equilibrium models to calculate detailed sectoral control costs, and calculate as far as possible the administrative costs and economic wealth effects of different distributions of permits or revenue rebates.


Rosimeiry Portela
The Institute for Ecological Economics, Solomons, Maryland, USA

Ida Rademacher, The Aspen Institute, Washington, DC, USA

A dynamic model of the effects of patterns of deforestation on the ability of the Brazilian Amazon to provide ecosystem services

This paper presents a dynamic systems model that shows how different land use patterns change the value of ecosystem services provided by the Brazilian Amazon. The model consists of four sectors: (1) Deforestation drivers, (2) Land use/cover, (3) Ecosystem services, and (4) Ecosystem valuation. The deforestation drivers sector models the economic and social incentives that small farmers and large pasture investors have for clearing the forest. The land use/cover sector shows how these different groups clear land, and further shows how patterns of forest succession and associated biomass differ by primary land use type. Different land use patterns greatly impact the quality and economic value of ecosystem services. These impacts are dealt with in the ecosystem services sector, which models the regions hydrological cycle, the nutrient cycle, carbon sequestration capacity, and species diversity. Calculations are made in the ecosystem valuation sector according to a reference monetary value for these ecosystem services. The model calculates the change in these values according to the land use practices that occur over time. Findings show that over a 100-year simulation, forest area declines by 40 percent with pasture and abandoned pasture becoming the dominant land cover. The value of ecosystem services declines approximately 70 percent for converted forest, from $US 1431 per hectare per year to $US 445 per hectare per year. These findings are compared to researched market values for land in the Brazilian Amazon. In the context of these findings, the authors discuss the problems associated with the current 'public goods' nature of forested land in the Amazon.


Bazyli Poskrobko
Technical University of Bialystok, Kleosin, Poland

The policy of implementation of the sustainable development principle in Poland

In Poland in the 1990s, and in particular after the conference in Rio de Janeiro (1992) the idea of continuing and sustainable development has become both the subject of discussion of scientists and the policy of the State. The paper will present: 1) the main theses of purely theoretical discussion on the implementation of the sustainable development principle with emphasis on the social aspect of such development; 2) the activities of the state authorities aimed at sustainable development of the country including the evaluation of the effects and the conclusions; 3) the specific character of the implementation of the sustainable development principle during the period of political system transformation which, on the one hand, facilitates and, on the other hand, hampers such implementation; 4) the controversy between politicians and scientists as to the scope, the pace and the instruments of implementation of sustainable development in Poland. The purpose of the paper is to discuss the assumptions of the sustainable development policy in Poland as proposed by the Polish scientists with the international ecological economics community.


Anandan Pouchepparadjou
Department of Agricultural Economics, P. J. N. College of Agriculture and Research Institute, Karaikal, India

Policy instrument for controlling non-point pollution from agriculture in a developing country- a case of India

With the introduction of the Green Revolution to increase agricultural production mainly through High Yielding Varieties (HYV) that are more responsive to fertilisers and pesticides, the problem of pollution due to these inputs has started surfacing in India. In the case of nitrate pollution, the situation was further aggravated by the recent macroeconomic policy that resulted in the decontrolling of fertiliser prices in August 1992, which sharply widened the NPK ratio. The harmful environmental impact of the fertilisers and pesticides resulted in smaller economic benefits. This paper evaluates the options of containing non-point pollution. A tax on nitrogenous fertilisers based on nitrate content or a tax on agricultural output produced with nitrogenous fertilisers would support the polluters pay principle,would be economically efficient and would increase the efficiency of nitrate use. As the agricultural sector is net negatively subsidised; the tax option would adversely affect its terms of trade compared to other sectors. Providing a subsidy would be a better option to control pollution. Subsidies on organic manure and biopesticides would boost environmentally safe inputs. Data from Pondicherry Union Territory in India shown that this policy option was a successful one. Encouraging environmentally sound practices or alternative production technologies like the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program is the best and probably the only route and was successful especially in the case of irrigated rice farming in states like Orrisa, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry. The support of the FAO through field schools, farmer training and the empowerment concept had positive results beyond pest control.


Teluve Prakash
Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Agricultural Science, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

David Pearce
Centre for Social and Economic Research of the Global Environment, Dept. of Economics, University College London, United Kingdom

Environmental sustainability in the context of agricultural development - the case of Karnataka agriculture - India

Sustainable development in the context of agriculture looks at sustainability as one feature of agroecosystems, a feature to be 'traded' against other desirable attributes such as productivity and equitability. As far as measurability is concerned, long-term instability in the sense of widening, reducing or constant coefficients of variation in output may be a reasonable approximation for sustainability. The general evidence is that variability in agriculture has increased along with productivity, thus providing a good example of Conway's trade-off analysis: sustainability against productivity. The measure of sustainability then becomes the change in the coefficient of variation or some other measure of output deviation from the trend. It is also possible to seek statistical explanations for change in output variability. It seems fairly clear that both genetic and technological uniformity in agriculture are important in explaining this instability, although the exact mechanisms of interaction are still debated. A case study of Karnataka is presented to test the proposition that agricultural instability has increased and to find its explanation. The introduction of high yielding varieties has clearly increased yields, as expected and as widely reported. It has also increased instability. The analysis also suggests some partial support for the view that capital inputs are not so readily substitutable for natural inputs. The price of the substitution appears to be increased output variability, i. e. a greater risk of non-sustainability.


Ram Prasad
Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India

Madhu Verma
Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India

Criteria and indicators: a mechanism for assessing effectiveness of the forest policy of India

The Indian sub-continent has a large tract of forests providing many functions at local, regional, national and global level like regulation of land based systems, watershed protection, wood and non-wood products, bio -diversity, carbon sequestration, etc. Addressing ecological (environmental), socio-cultural and economic dimensions necessitated the change from the 1952 National Forest policy to the 1988 Forest Policy. These policies provide for extending the forest cover of India to over one third of its land mass and for bio-diversity conservation and the 1988 Policy stresses especially stakeholders' (individuals, communities and the corporate sector) participation. Despite all the provisions for sustainability in the policy, there is no mechanism to assess its effectiveness. Global experience suggests that Criteria and Indicators for SFM are important mechanisms for adoption of SFM. Thus an environmentally sound, economically viable, socially responsible and environmentally acceptable approach concerning varied functions and positive externalities of forests is essential to help maintain the sustainability of forests. The paper discusses a set of eight Criteria and 47 Indicators that emerged out of the Bhopal - India Process. This was an initiative of the Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal, India, which if combined with financial and policy based incentives for various stakeholders, and removal of institutional, economic, technological and social constraints, will help internalise forest externalities. Instead of following damage control methods, such an integrated multi - dimensional approach shall be effective in putting the concept of SFM into practice.


Wendy Proctor
Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Decision-making for environmental policy: an application of multi criteria analysis to the comprehensive regional assessment of Australia's forests

Making decisions about environmental policy often involves balancing conflicting, incommensurate and incompatible values of many users and uses of a resource. One of the most fundamental and difficult tasks involved, therefore, is the effective integration or synthesis of all values related to the resource issue in question. Governments now realise that consideration and effective integration of all resource values, whether they are environmental, economic or social, is a necessary first step to achieving and maintaining ecologically sustainable development. In 1992, after decades of environmentalist/forest industry conflict, the Australian Government embarked on the largest and most expensive environmental planning exercise ever undertaken in Australia. This was the program of Comprehensive Regional Assessments of Australia's forests that would eventuate in the signing of Regional Forest Agreements and ensure the sustainable management of forests in this country. One of the most difficult tasks for planners and policy makers was that of integrating all of the different forest values upon which a final decision about reserved and unreserved areas could be made. This paper outlines a practical application of a decision support tool - multi criteria analysis - to the integration of these various forest values using, as a case study, stakeholders from one of the assessment regions. This case study has been undertaken in parallel to the official approach adopted by governments to the decision-making process. An assessment of the contribution that such decision-making tool can make to environmental policy-making is made.


Laura Pulido
Department of Geography, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA

The environment, economics, and justice

The poor rural populations are commonly said to lack ecological legitimacy. This is not necessarily the case as evidenced by the Ganados Del Valle in Southwest United States. Institutional arrangements leading to economic injustice directly contributes substantially to environmental degradation rather than the poor rural populations. Economic, environmental, social and political justice are intricately interlinked and contribute to sustainability. Addressing any one of these concepts in a piecemeal fashion does not provide a smooth transition from one state of the world to another.


David Pullar
Geographical Sciences and Planning,The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Takatoyo Yamamoto
Geographical Sciences and Planning, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Urban ecosystem analysis: measuring values of urban trees

Urban trees are not just nice to look at and a relief from the concrete and bitumen of our cities, they have measurable environmental benefits including reducing greenhouse gas emissions through: Shade and cooling, carbon storage and sequestration, trapping air borne dust and gaseous pollutants. Recent work in the United States has produced analysis software, called CityGreen, to measure and model the tangible benefits of their urban trees in cities. The paper describes a project to measure the value of urban trees in terms of carbon storage and sequestration, energy conservation for buildings, and heat island mitigation. Although the CityGreen program itself uses North America conversion factors, the opportunity to adapt this style of urban forest analysis to Australia is not difficult and is worth pursuing. Using the Urban Ecosystems Analysis methodology, the value of urban trees was calculated and the major findings are listed below.
1. The residential area, about 20% of the city, in Brisbane City contains 24.3% of vegetation, and the current standing stock of trees in residential areas have stored approximately 134,500 tonnes of carbon, and while these trees grow, they will add another 53,000 - 72,000 tonnes per year, which is about 1.3 -1.8 percent of carbon emissions in Brisbane City.
2. A total 1,921,562 tonnes of carbon is now stored in the Brisbane. Therefore, the urban trees in the residential area in Brisbane City are about 7% of the total carbon storage in the whole of Brisbane City. Concerning the carbon sequestration, total 395,621 - 437,790 tonnes of carbon are sequestrated each year. This is about 15% of the total carbon sequestration.
3. As trees can decrease the surface temperature and direct sun light to houses, a unit with effectively located trees for making effective shade during summer can save up to $A 11 - 24 for cooling cost during the summer.
4. From sample sites, public trees in the residential area are about 16 percent of all trees.


Rachel Pushparajah Lorenzen
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland

Andre Radlinsky
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland

Werner Hediger
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland

Ways to improve livelihood-systems of farming-families in Chetilla, Cajamarca in the Northern Peruvian Andes

The living-conditions of farming-families in Chetilla, one of the poorest districts in Northern Peru, are threatened by serious ecological and socio-economic problems, such as erosion, poor health standards, and low income. The aim is to link theory and practice for sustainable development. Farming-families were interviewed about their objectives and their perception of problems. The results of the field research were included in a dynamic model of the livelihood-system. This allowed us to identify the key-factors for a sustainable development. These key-factors identified the challenges the farming-families have to deal with in the future. The individual preferences of the farmers, and the given economic situation, form the attitude of the farming-family towards sustainable development. Trade-offs among social, ecological and economic objectives are analysed in the theoretical context of sustainable development and social welfare. One important trade-off can be clearly seen between economic objectives and ecological concerns. Milk production generates cash-income and improves the farming-families living-basis, while environmental conservation is seen just as a functional benefit of maintaining the production capacity. Hence, besides the economic goal of income security, ecological aspects are of secondary importance. On the other hand, 'Minga' (neighbour hood help, the traditional form of common work by a family) is very important in the community. The maintenance of this component of 'social capital' implies a strong social sustainability concept, while the satisfaction of basic needs dominates the economic and ecological dimensions.


S. Puttaswamaiah
Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

K. N. Ninan
Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Natural resource management: a case of farm forestry in dryland areas

Farm forestry, an activity of growing trees on farm lands by farmers, was started as a component of the Social Forestry program in India, to meet the needs of rural communities for fuelwood, fodder and minor timber products as well as reducing the pressure on forests and arresting environmental degradation by increasing tree cover on farmland. Farm forestry programs intend to encourage farmers to grow trees on farmland, on less fertile or waste lands - especially in arid and semi-arid regions - so as to make optimum and efficient use of the fragile resource. Hence it is a measure to resolve the economic and environmental problems of the ecologically fragile areas of India, as well as improve the incomes of farmers. The present paper analyses a farm forestry program in dry land areas and tries to see the comparative economics of tree crops versus the cultivation of other crops and also assesses the economic viability of tree crops grown under farm forestry. Karnataka, a leading state in implementing the farm forestry program in India, is the setting for the study. The study shows that tree crops cultivation under the farm forestry program was profitable and promises to improve the income of farmers, especially small farmers in the semi-arid regions.


Futian Qu
Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China

Feng Shuyi
Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China

Huang Xianjin
Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China

Economic policy reforms and soil degradation in China: a primary approach at the farmer household level

The purpose of this paper is to introduce an approach that may be used to examine economic policy reforms and soil degradation in China at farmer household level. Firstly, the paper puts forward the issues and reviews the literature . Secondly, the paper gives an overview of soil degradation and its consequences in China. Thirdly, the paper provides an analytical framework that can be used to analysing the relationships between economic policy, farmer household behaviours and soil degradation and some discussion of the main economic policy factors affecting soil degradation. Results show that agricultural price policy reform, land property rights arrangements, state fiscal and credit systems, and technology extension systems are all correlated with soil degradation. Finally, the paper considers further reforms of economic policy and their potential effects on soil degradation.


P. S. Ramakrishnan
School of Environmental Science, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India

Human dimensions in biodiversity: problems in interdisciplinary engagement

Human dimensions in biodiversity is in an infant stage of its development; with limited scientific capability; yet it is a key element connecting and cutting across all the others dealing with the science of biodiversity. Because of its very nature, the emphasis is likely to be different in different parts of the world, because of the location-specificity of the human problems associated with biodiversity conservation. Much of this biodiversity is located in the developing tropics of Asia, Africa and Latin America and closely linked with many 'traditional societies' who are its custodians; these societies are largely dependent upon this biodiversity to meet their livelihood concerns, whilst maintaining a symbiotic relationship with it. They manipulate biodiversity, thereby manipulating ecosystems and landscapes in a variety of different ways to cope up with uncertainties in the environment in which they operate. The current emphasis on the use of biodiversity solely based on market forces is clearly inadequate to meet with considerations of equity and social justice for current and future generations. Policy responses should emphasise developing flexible and adaptive institutions, and incentives that would take into account full social cost attached with resource use, and at the same apportioning the benefits of conservation to local communities investing in conservation. This paper examines the linkages between ecological and social processes in this area, as relevant to traditional societies, using well worked out examples, in the context of 'global change'. The issues involved are considered at three biophysical levels - species, ecosystems and landscapes, linked to the humans at the, social, economic and cultural dimensions.


Robert Randall
The RainForest ReGeneration Institute, Washington, DC, USA

A global carbon impost for sustainable development with limitations of intergovernmental emissions trading

Based upon attendance at the series of negotiations leading to the Kyoto Protocol, the paper proposes a global carbon impost. This impost meets the expressed needs of all nations for a financial mechanism having the virtues of a carbon tax and the redistribution properties developing countries say is necessary for their active participation in the Framework Convention on Climate Change and in any extension of the Kyoto Protocol. Such an extension could be by amendment or by another non-conflicting further protocol, or by complete replacement if the Kyoto Protocol fails to be ratified by the necessary number of nations. The paper also discusses the practical limitations on emissions trading, based on U.S. mischaracterisation of U.S. experience with commercial trading of sulfur dioxide emissions permits issued to certain electricity generating stations located in the Appalachian Region of the central United States. Intergovernmental emissions trading can be a useful balancing mechanism, but cannot bear the weight the United States government negotiators are trying to put on it in present negotiations leading up to the Sixth Conference of the Parties due to be held in The Hague in late 2000. Any practical emissions reductions mechanism must work through the private business and household sectors, rather than through the governmental sector, which is not a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. In the author's view, the climate negotiations have given too much weight to meeting the needs of government overseers, rather than the needs of people in the private sector whose actions or inactions will make the Climate Convention either a success or a failure.


Robert Rattle
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Beyond values: do our cures for overconsumption blind us from solutions?

Consumption activities, behaviours and lifestyles are influenced by a multitude of factors. Conventional tools and strategies to achieve sustainable consumption have emphasised technical, economic, regulatory, political and educational opportunities and have focused on the production or supply side of the equation. That is often because of the intractable and complex nature of human behaviour and lifestyles. Behaviours are established by the process of socialisation and are culturally conditioned. Attempts to generate sustainable consumption from the consumer or demand side of the equation necessitate confronting complex and interlinked human factors, deeply held beliefs and social pressures and goals. Yet it is these factors which define conventional tools and strategies, and how they are employed, to achieve sustainable consumption. In other words, conventional activities to reduce consumption may implicitly embody the very beliefs and pressures that have produced overconsuming lifestyles and non-sustainable behaviours. The 'fallacy of misplaced concreteness', as Whitehead called it, neglects the degree of abstraction of our concepts and leads us to draw unwarranted conclusions about reality. Conventional consumption reducing activities embody this 'fallacy of misplaced concreteness' by overlooking the underlying social forces and cultural values determining our activities. Therefore, understanding the factors generating our behaviours and lifestyles and influencing our decisions is vital to identify appropriate tools and strategies to reduce consumption. This presentation will explore the importance of social and cultural factors in consumption decisions. It will identify some common assumptions and biases of conventional strategies to achieve sustainable consumption and behaviours, present some alternatives, and offer some insight as to how these may be adopted and sustained.


Robert Rattle
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Uniting social and health impact assessments within an environmental impact assessment

Human civilisations are intimately dependent on the natural environment. Our quality of life is a function of the complex dynamics established by the cause-effect relationships between humans and nature. The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a planning process to predict, assess and mitigate any significant adverse effects of a proposed project, program or policy. EIA is employed by many countries as a tool to promote Sustainable Development. The evolution of EIA has witnessed the emergence of Social Impact Assessment (SIA) and Health Impact Assessment (HIA) as separate entities within an EIA. In this way, they reflect the failure of our planning and decision processes to capture the complexity of human-environment relationships. Both HIA and SIA recognise the intrinsic relationship between human activities, the natural environment and quality of life. However, the obvious commonalities between HIA and SIA are not manifest in the degree and frequency of cooperation between social scientists and health specialists within an environmental assessment. Uniting HIA and SIA ideas and resources would enhance the decision-making power of EIA and better capture the complexities of human-environment relationships. This paper will explore the linkages between human activity and the natural environment and how these influence quality of life. Similarities and differences between HIA and SIA will be explored. Case studies of united HIA's and SIA's or opportunities of unification with potential benefits will be examined. By uniting HIA and SIA resources, EIA may be strengthened as a tool to promote sustainable development.


Peter Read
Department of Applied and International Economics, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.

Asymmetric learning by doing and dynamically efficient policy: implications for domestic and international emissions permit trading of allocating permits usefully

Learning by doing leads to cost reductions as suppliers move down the `experience curve'. This results in a beneficial supply side inter-temporal externality that, for dynamic efficiency, requires a higher incentive for abatement innovations than the penalty on emissions. This effect can be achieved by a dedicated emissions tax or by a proportionate abatement obligation or by allocating permits usefully. The latter arrangement is compatible with the effective cap on emissions that is secured by an emissions trading scheme. Each of the three possibilities results in a reduced loss of international competitiveness in policy-committed regions, in less `leakage', and in more technology transfer. Implications for trading in emissions permits and in project-related credits are discussed.


Bastiaan Reydon
State University of Campinas, - UNICAMP, Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Antonio Demanboro
State University of Campinas, - UNICAMP, Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil

The interdisciplinary limits in science: a proposal for obtaining environmental harmony using Bohm's concept of wholeness

Our main aim in this paper is to approach the way we understand and interact with the so-called reality around us. Science has developed its way of understanding Nature just to submit it to our needs, not realising that there are at least two other dimensions to be considered in relation to Nature: a) the limitations of knowing if we are really understanding our world starting from the instruments and methods available; and b) the impossibility to understand nature's dynamics completely, basically because it is not predictable. The interdisciplinary limits of science and of rational understanding of the world will be presented with a bibliographic review of writers such as Wilber, Capra, Prigogine, Georgescu-Roegen, Japiassu, Kepping, and mainly Bohm. All of them, from different points of view, show the limits and difficulties in the narrow atomistic context of reality. Our main conclusion is that science only will be able to exceed its present limitations in the way it looks at environmental problems if it makes a radical change. Only a new scientific paradigm, that results from social, technical, cultural and environmental changes, will make it possible for mankind to think about and construct development with sustainability. This new paradigm has to have an approach that deals with Wholeness - taking into account the multiple potential aspects of reality. Bohm has the key for this multi-dimensional analysis (called by Bohm 'Implicate Order'), where the solutions are obtained acting simultaneously on different dimensions of the problem.


Jacques Ribemboim
Universidade Federal of Pernambuco, Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil

Monetary valuation of the Brazilian national park 'Chapada Dos Veadeiros' using travel costs

This paper considers some theoretical aspects of the Travel Cost Method (TCM) and presents an empirical study of the monetary valuation of Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park, located in the state of Goias, Brazil. The park has many natural beauties such as waterfalls, rivers, forests, and shelters many representatives of endangered species. By using the TCM, it is possible to find out how much visitors are willing to pay for the recreational activities at the park and so, it is possible to price the park, in a monetary basis. In this study, the total cost of a visit includes the opportunity cost of time spent on the trip as well as at the site. By observing the costs of visitors from different regions in visiting the park, one can establish the demand curve of the park and its price. The Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park was estimated at more than two million US dollars per year, a much higher value than its official annual budget.


Robert Richardson
Dept. of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

John Loomis
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

A comprehensive analysis of the economic benefits of wilderness

There are entire bodies of literature on the tools used by economists to measure the value of direct uses of wilderness areas (i.e., input/output models, hedonic and travel cost models) and the passive uses (i.e., contingent valuation). However, there are several components of wilderness value that are frequently overlooked which make valid contributions to the quality of life and/or support the market economy, but are without formal tools with which to estimate their worth. As a result, wilderness benefits are underestimated. Here, we present one of the first comprehensive discussions and measurements of the economic benefits of wilderness in the United States. We present a conceptual framework for the categorisation of the economic value of wilderness, a review of the literature that supports each category, a quantitative analysis of many of the categorical values, and a discussion of the implications to these categorised values of particular policy decisions. The categories of value include direct and passive use benefits, benefits to local communities, scientific benefits, off-site benefits, the value of ecological services, and the benefits of conservation of biological diversity. We also identify ecoregions in the United States that are currently protected by the National Wilderness Preservation System, and those that are underprotected.


Jackie Robinson
Department of Economics, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

From rhetoric to reality: are the outcomes from a MCA process living up to the claims?

Multiple Criteria Analysis (MCA) has been put forward as an approach to decision-making that facilitates the incorporation of information from multiple disciplines. Such an approach is particularly appropriate to address complex natural resource management problems. It is variously claimed that the MCA process is effectiveness in improving communication between stakeholder groups that might otherwise have been in conflict, in particular, between farmers and the decision-maker. An improved understanding of the natural resource problem being addressed and the options evaluated to address the problem, is claimed to result in a greater acceptance and therefore compliance to the final choice of action. This paper presents the initial findings from a project to assess the effectiveness of a MCA that was implemented to assist the evaluation of a number of options to manage an emerging groundwater problem in a catchment area in Far North Queensland.


John Rolfe
Faculty of Business and Law, Central Queensland University, Emerald, Queensland, Australia

Peter Donaghy
Queensland Department of Primary Industries, Queensland, Australia

Assessing the case for tighter controls over broadscale tree clearing in Queensland

The bulk of broadscale tree clearing activities in Australia are concentrated in Queensland, where recent rates of clearing for virgin timber and regrowth have reached 360,000 hectares per year. Clearing is increasingly being concentrated on more marginal land types, mainly for the production of beef cattle. In this paper, three broad groups of reasons are explored why continued clearing may be sub-optimal. The first is that long-term production may be lower than expected. The second is that there may be substantial flow-on effects, such as salinity problems. The third is that the wider community may have substantial preservation values for the original vegetation types. The importance of these factors varies across different regions, but it appears that in each there will be tradeoffs between development and preservation in both short-term and longer-term frameworks. Introducing or altering controls over tree clearing activities is difficult, partly because of the social and institutional factors involved and the varying impacts on existing property rights. These complexities are evaluated in this paper, together with some alternatives for reducing the rate of clearing in pastoral regions of the state. The results are focused on how the overall state community values the tradeoffs between production, social impacts and environmental preservation, and the extent to which the Queensland Government takes these into account in making resource use decisions.


John Rolfe
Faculty of Business and Law, Central Queensland University, Emerald, Queensland, Australia

Jeff Bennett
National Centre for Development Studies, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Framing values for biodiversity conservation

Non-market valuation techniques have been widely used over the past thirty years to bring a wider range of values to the attention of decision-makers. There has been particular interest in the development of techniques to assess non-use values, partly because these incorporate the existence and option values that may be important in how people view environmental factors. In developing a holistic approach to the way that the wider communities view tradeoffs between development and preservation, the estimation of non-use values is of particular interest in the Ecological Economics discipline. One difficulty is that it not always apparent how some non-use values relate to other factors, such as tradeoffs involving social factors and other environmental issues. These questions about how results might be 'framed' are of particular interest in Ecological Economics because they relate to how a holistic picture might be developed of community values for environmental and other assets. One non-market valuation technique, Choice Modelling, has potential in this regard because it disaggregates choices into a number of component tradeoffs, making it easier to develop a base for comparisons. However, the recent development of this technique means few studies have been performed. The Choice Modelling studies reported in this paper have been designed to address some of these research issues. A number of experiments have been carried out that focus on vegetation preservation in Queensland and the Northern Territory and the results provide some indication of how Australians view conservation of remnant vegetation in the context of other environmental, social and institutional factors.


Ademar Romeiro
State University of Campinas, Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Sustainable development and institutional change: the role of altruistic behaviour

Assuming that environmental challenges will not be met without changing the present logic of the process of capital accumulation and its corresponding consumption patterns, the paper discusses how such a radical change could happen. The analytical model proposed by D. North to explain the historical process of institutional change that gave birth to the phenomenon of fast economic growth is used as a 'backbone' to build an alternative model. Although making room for altruistic and/or irrational behaviour, North's model rests on the (neoclassical) assumption that changes in relative prices (or willingness to pay) play a role as an independent variable inducing institutional change. The paper argues, however, that uncertainty and scientific controversy prevents the ecological awareness aroused by environmental damages, and the corresponding changes in the willingness to pay, from playing such a role. Instead, it proposes an alternative model where an altruistic behaviour - the solidarity towards future generations- plays the role as an independent variable. It discusses also what are the objective conditions that could make it possible for altruistic behaviour to have such a role.


Kai Rommel
Brandenburg Technical University Cottbus, Department of Economics, Cottbus, Germany

Valuation of the natural environment for a cost-benefit-analysis of conservation: how reliable is the hypothetical willingness to pay in a real payment situation?

The methodology and results of a Cost-Benefit-Analysis (CBA) applied to a biosphere reserve (BR) near Berlin are presented in this paper. The complexity of the various economic, ecological and social effects -especially in the light of the ongoing process of transformation in East Germany and the high initial level of soil pollution - require the measurement of the costs and benefits of the change in user rights. The aims of our study are to measure the net benefit of this BR and to give some special recommendations for further decisions in environmental policy. Enforcement of the goals of the BR on the other hand creates an additional supply of environmental goods in the form of recreational areas and a higher environmental quality. To measure these benefits in the form of the 'Willingness To Pay' (WTP) for these environmental goods the Contingent Valuation Method (CVM) is used. We show that the net benefit as the difference between the costs and the WTP is approximately balanced. Policy recommendations for this region that can be deduced from our CBA include reducing costs of overusing recreation areas and reaching a long-term balance between the environmental aims of the BR and the economic requirements in this region. The numerous applications of the CVM with an increased level of reliability raises the question of the application of the WTP in a real situation of consumer behaviour. To examine the differences between the 'hypothetical' and the 'real' WTP a questioning analogous to the Contingent Valuation-Study will be used in this field of research.


Inge Ropke
Department of Technology and Social Sciences, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark

Domestic technologies, everyday life and the environment

So far environmental strategies have focused mainly on the production side of the economy, such as the use of cleaner technologies that can increase efficiency in the use of resources and reduce emissions from production processes. In recent years it has increasingly been acknowledged that changes in production might not be sufficient, and more attention is directed towards consumption and lifestyles (e.g. the OECD project on Sustainable Consumption and Production). If the patterns of everyday life are to become more consciously formed in consideration of their environmental impact, much new knowledge is needed regarding the dynamical formation of these patterns. This paper attempts to deal with one of the aspects of this formation process, namely the interaction between new domestic technologies and changes in consumer lifestyles in the rich countries. The research questions are: 1) In which way does lifestyle influence the selection and use of new domestic technologies - and how is the use of new technologies reflected in lifestyle changes? 2) What are the environmental implications of the present trends? The paper reports on the first results from an on-going empirical study based on qualitative interviews with families in Denmark.


Steven Rose
Washington College, Chestertown, Maryland, USA

Rural households and common property resources: insight into the vicious cycle

Rural households in developing countries may depend on common property resources (CPRs) for household production. The allocation of tasks within the household may dictate that women and children are the primary extractors of commons resources. While anecdotal evidence suggests effective community management of these resources, exogenous factors can determine resource quality, quantity, and regenerative capacity. This can establish conditions for an observed downward spiral of increasing CPR degradation and household poverty, i.e. the 'vicious cycle.' The paper begins with a land allocation decision, which defines the parameters of the bio-dynamics of the CPR. Given the exogenous parameters, the paper models the dynamic interaction between the female household production/consumption decision, which determines extraction, and the bio-dynamics of the CPR. The formal structure clearly identifies limited access to alternative resources and consumption and time constraints as policy targets for averting this 'cycle.' The analysis has implications relevant to migration and welfare concerns.


Helen Ross
Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia

How do people shape their environments? a theoretical framework

This paper outlines a framework developed to describe the ways in which people are affected by their environments, and how they make and change their urban, rural or natural environments to offer a better fit with their needs, desires, and images of what an environment should be like. I will the framework with respect to urban development. The basic framework derives from literature in the interdisciplinary field Environment and Behaviour Studies (EBS). It focuses on how people perceive, select and change their environments to suit their purposes, and how environments meet their physical and social needs, and constrain or enable people's actions. If people find a poor fit between their environment and their needs, they may adapt the environment, their presence in it (by leaving), or change the way they think about it. This paper takes on the challenge of expanding the basic EBS framework to cater for people's actions at different social and geographical scales: individuals, households, neighbourhoods and communities, organisations of all types, and national bodies. If all of these are striving to fit their environments to their own aspirations - within their spheres of influence - what are the implications for the ways in which an urban environment is shaped?





[Top Of Page]

Author: David Stern
Date Last Modified: 26 June 2000
Feedback & Enquiries: