Previous | Next | How to reach the 2010-and beyond- target: research influencing policy
Topic: RE: The need for interdisciplinary reseach
Conf: How to reach the 2010-and beyond- target: research influencing policy, Msg: 8403
From: Dan Faith (
Date: 08/10/2006 02:26 AM

RE: The need for interdisciplinary reseach Dan Faith efn2010 It was great to see this call for more interdisciplinary research. In the context of the 2010 biodiversity target, arguably too much of the focus on indicators has been “biodiversity-centric”, and has not appreciated the need to incorporate economics – both through consideration of other values of society (opportunity costs of conservation and so on) and through the range of economic instruments (e.g. payments to private landowners) that can form part of any successful approach to achieving the 2010 target.

My previous contribution outlined an interdisciplinary, multi-criteria, approach to the 2010 target, and I highlighted the need for integrating the relevant biodiversity and economics needs:

1) Improved estimators (“surrogates”) for overall biodiversity are needed. Such approaches include making best-possible use of museum collections data and integrating such information with environmental layers.

2) Realistic estimates of opportunity costs of conservation, and their distribution, are needed, including ways to combine different costs.

Our approach is based on extensions of that “reserve selection” paradigm referred to by Frank Waetzold. I liked the example illustrating how neither an all-biodiversity nor an all-economics approach would be effective. It was interesting also that the call for interdisciplinary research in this context used the 1998 publication by economists, while this lesson was earlier appreciated by biologists (Faith et al 1996). Frank Waetzold certainly is correct in highlighting the need for much greater cross-discipline communication and collaboration.

All this further highlights the research challenge of finding a way to take advantage of all the effective economic/biodiversity instruments that are already out there - and not only use these in a way that better addresses 2010, but also determine how their effective use can be "credited" as helping to reach the target.

Dan Faith

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