Economics is a wide subject that deals with more than just how the country is developing in terms of income. It is a wide subject that touches a lot of areas, one of them is out environment. Hence, economic studies require that people also consider the importance of conserving the environment. Several issues are addressed under this subject, mainly, the idea of making sure some species of plants and animals are kept from extinction.
Human activities are the number one cause for environmental pollution. Since we rely on industrial products, it has become a must to have several industries producing different consumption goods for proper human existence. Living under the sun has been a daily struggle for people from all walks of life. Which is why there must be way to keep a balance.
In economics, the term scarcity is used to define the case of human needs verses natural resources. Human needs are referred to as unlimited, while the resources expect to fulfill them are limit. This is why we run into problems of scarcity. If it were possible, everyone would produce what they need from their homes so that they wouldn’t have to rely on the production of another person. But since, we need certain basic items to exist, we rely on other people who can produce them. People are social beings, who survive by relying on each other. And the existence, of markets, perfect or imperfect, is the best explanation of human interaction. Here, producers, who are manufacturers/supplies create product, which are bought by households/consumers. In order for one to afford these things, they need to have financial and other resource, in which case they have to work because they is never enough money to get everything we need. Then the issue of unemployment rate comes up where we don’t have enough jobs to accommodate the whole labor market. Even when one gets the job, it is never enough to help them live a life they may have expected.
In simple terms, human beings exist by using the scarce natural resources around. Unfortunately, this cannot happen without touching on the issue of environmental concern. Environmental economics has therefore become one of the biggest subjects of study in the modern world, where different factors that affect the environment due to economic activities are addressed. With issues like global warming and increased disease, it is crucial to understand the impact of environmental pollution on and because of economic activities and the general well-being of human species.
Under this topics, one major problem concerns threated species. One may wonder what threatened species of animals and plants has to do with the study of economics. Well, it has everything to do with how people behave and what drives them to take certain decisions. It helps us understand how human activities influence the whole world, and what we should do to keep a balance. Think about the economic income of a country through economics for instance, this sector relies on heavily on the availability of unique flora and fauna. People travel from far corners of the world to come and see these lives, which may not be in their countries, and pay a lot of money for them, which goes towards accomplishing many development goals set in place.
The economics of conservation has since become one of the major topics of study in this case. Over population human activities has been the main threat to the environment, and those who are concerned can no longer just sit back and watch. We need natural resources to have a good life. But since there is not much of this, the factors that threaten the extinction of some ecological components of the world are immense. There is need to have a control on these factors, a case that forces us to consider the study of environmental economics, specifically in this case, conservation.
Conservation Economics in Details
There is no better expression of nation, corporate and individual values than with economic behavior. We need values to achieve our global goal of conservation, because it goes beyond the normal understanding and definition of a good life. It is also hard to value to endure vitality, unless it discovers expression in economic behavior, either through what we do to achieve what other species needs, or what we have to forego in order to save what the other species need to exist. The issues of extinction for some species of plants and animals has always been a major concern on the global scale. At the same time economic behavior determines the best way a person can live under the sun, and have everytghing they need to exist. So, economics and environmental conservation are two subjects that are closely linked – they are in the middle of human existence.
Today, people are giving generously to conservation because they understand what is at stake, and the reward at the end. But is becomes a huge paradox since they need money to give back to this environment, where the same money comes from economic activities that that degrade biodiversity they are trying to protect. A compilation a technical review for The Wildlife Society by Trauger et al., reveals that there is a significant relationship between economic growth and wildlife conservation. Human activities have always been, and continue to be the main threat to the conversation, in which case, the note that there is “a fundamental conflict between economic growth and wildlife conservation.” (Trauger et al. 2003).
But the biggest question is, what is the nature of this conflict, and why does it exist? And most importantly, why should we care about this conflict, and even study about it? Let begin by noting the conservation needs money to achieve its goals. We have seen many people starting charities and foundation to help conserve specific areas of the environment. The largest amount of this money come from people who have sufficient affluence to give to charitable cause, where conservation is perceived to be one them. Yen et al. (1997), carried out a survey to determine the variables affecting contributions of conservation. In their findings, income was listed as the largest influencer on the probability of the amount given. Pergams el al. (2004), carried out a similar study in the USA, which established that stock market indices like Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Standard & Poor’s 500, GDP and personal income had a lot to do with as the 99% of annual variation in toral revenue where The Nature Conservancy is among the main benefactors. These are broad economic indicators that are seen in all major economies, and they are explained as the 96% of the annual number of university conservation program.
In other words, it is people who are involved in threatening extinction of certain animals and plants, and they are the same involved in conserving them. Economic behavior plays the most important role in keeping a natural balance between consumption of natural resources and using the same of achieve our economic goals. When a person wants to start a new business, or a company wishes to expand their territory, they must first seek proper permissions from concerned bodies, among them the ministry of environment. But most importantly people have to be impacted with values that help in understand their roles on the environment. “The conservation activity parameters were measured my exhibit positive trends even in the face of declining biodiversity, but biodiversity conservation will ultimately require the cessation of economic growth. The challenge to the conservation of biological community is to retain a significant presence during and after the cessation of growth.” (Pergams et.al 2004:1617). At the beginning of this subject, we mentioned the interaction between supply and consumption on the growth of markets. This statement confirms that there is not economic growth without this interaction, which ultimately touches the general natural habitat/
The increase in human activities leads to betterment of economic growth, which is a good thing. But this causes a sacrifice on the general environment. It is not just become people must survive, but also because they depend on nature for existence. But this does not also mean that we have to sacrifice everything we have to achieve what we need. Biodiversity is fast degrading, and this becomes a threat to the very economic growth we seek to achieve. It is true that human beings depend on natural resources to survive, but this does not mean that we have to oppress the same nature. On the other hand, people are motivated to live a fulfilling life when they exist in a good economic environment.
Today, conservation economics is being well practiced by a large number of serious individuals. These people have taken up the task to face one of the biggest challenges of modern times, which is averting massive losses in the bio-diversity of life forms on earth. This is a subject that exists today, and it must exist for the benefit of humanity.
We define Conservation Economics as the application of economics to understand the costs and benefits of sustaining natural resources. This subject seeks to accomplish the most expansive and lasting conservation by lowering its costs, declaring its benefits, and fitting in with a genuine economic development. This is a field of economics that has to be declared a commonsense purpose. Today, it has become more important than ever because it has never been taken with the seriousness it deserves. Of course, this is not the first time we are coming across a related field. Subjects like ‘environmental,’ ‘natural resource’ and ‘ecology,’ have been used to describe what nature has to do with human lifestyle and economic growth.
Environmental economics, for instance, has been with us for more than half a century, focusing on the value of the natural environment, specifically things that come from the ecosystem that are not bought and sold directly through the markets. They include things like scenic views, clean air and wildlife, among others. It is a branch of economics that came up to report on policies seeking to protect and manage natural lands and regulate pollution. It is crucial for everyone tpo understand the economic value of nature and environmental quality because it allows people to figure out what it is important to invest in them.
Natural resource is another aspect of economic studies that seeks to calculate how fast people should exploit resources if they want to gain the most financial value. It looks at rate of extracting oil and minerals, profit-maximizing harvest age for tree and the level of catch that maximize profit from fish stock. Ecology economics is an idea embedded in environmental economics that arose to oppose another idea, the monetization of nature. It has taken over as the main concern for nature and economics. Our planet is engulfed in a finite ecological system, in which a similarly finite economy can exist. In this case, nature is not just one more input to production, which can grow indefinitely like labor and capital.
The Theory of Conservation Economics
The three approaches to environment and economics mentioned above are all important to understanding how human activities and nature interact. But none of them is clearly useful in conserving nature. This is true, especially when you look at them individually. This is where Conservation Economics comes into play. Yes, we can get all the tools to calculate the benefits of the ecosystem, but these numbers will not be of any help if the ecosystem it wiped out. Activities like deforestation and poaching have become the biggest threat to nature, and it’s all because of human activities and development.
The model that explains conservation economics is based on the economic behavior. And there is no economic behavior without values. Deontology and utilitarianism theories are two different yet closely related models that explain human behavior. They both agree that people should behave in a way that affects the society positively. Our actions and results of the actions have to be good, and this extends into the natural environment. We need economic activities to grow, but this does not mean we sacrifice other aspects of the ecosystem. It is the duty of every person to play a part in conserving our natural world.
Author: James Hamilton