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Economic growth, biodiversity loss and conservation effort Simon Dietza

Summary: Economic growth, biodiversity loss and conservation effort
Simon Dietza
, W. Neil Adgerb,*
Department of Geography and Environment, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE, UK
Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment (CSERGE), School of Environmental Sciences,
University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK
Received 17 July 2002; revised 2 December 2002; accepted 5 December 2002
This paper investigates the relationship between economic growth, biodiversity loss and efforts to conserve biodiversity using a
combination of panel and cross section data. If economic growth is a cause of biodiversity loss through habitat transformation and other
means, then we would expect an inverse relationship. But if higher levels of income are associated with increasing real demand for
biodiversity conservation, then investment to protect remaining diversity should grow and the rate of biodiversity loss should slow with
growth. Initially, economic growth and biodiversity loss are examined within the framework of the environmental Kuznets hypothesis.
Biodiversity is represented by predicted species richness, generated for tropical terrestrial biodiversity using a species-area relationship. The
environmental Kuznets hypothesis is investigated with reference to comparison of fixed and random effects models to allow the relationship
to vary for each country. It is concluded that an environmental Kuznets curve between income and rates of loss of habitat and species does not
exist in this case. The role of conservation effort in addressing environmental problems is examined through state protection of land and the
regulation of trade in endangered species, two important means of biodiversity conservation. This analysis shows that the extent of


Source: Adger, Neil - School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology