Institutions and Values of Biodiversity and Genetic Resource Conservation

Elective Module: Biodiversity and Conservation Management (INRM)_Gatzweiler

Master in Integrated Natural Resource Management, LGF, Humboldt University of Berlin

Winter term 2012/2013 [15.10.2012 ‐ 16.02.2013]

Teaching staff

Dr. Franz W. Gatzweiler, Center for Development Research (ZEF), Bonn, Germany

E‐mail: [email protected]‐

Hours per week in class, credits

4 SWS, 6 Credits

Place and time

Time (block): Friday‐Sunday, 9‐11 November 2012; Friday/Saturday, 23‐24 November 2012, 8:00 – 17:00

Place (block): Seminar room 2.21, Hannoversche Str. 27/Philippstr. 13, Building 12

Institutions and Values of Biodiversity and Genetic Resource Conservation


Organised as a block seminar, this course gives a comprehensive introduction into the topic of Biodiversity and Genetic Resources Conservation. Depending on how biodiversity is perceived, it is valued differently and accordingly different conservation concepts apply. The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity will be discussed and different methods for articulating values will be introduced.

This part of the module builds around a case study of the Coffee Forest Biosphere Reserves in Southwest Ethiopia (Kaffa and Yayu) which have been established in 2010 to conserve the genetic diversity of Wild Coffea Arabica.

Each Coffee Forest Biosphere Reserve is based on the same eco‐region, however, the conservation and use philosophy of the involved stakeholder differs. The choice for a particular form of protected area, for specific modes of governance of protected areas, and for a specific landscape with its biodiversity of flora and fauna, is always based on choices made by more or less informed and conscious human beings involved in particular actions which are ruled by institutions. Throughout this process of decision making for or against, more or less biodiversity and ecosystem functions, choices are influenced by information, institutions and values. Values are elicited and expressed by means of different value articulating institutions and eventually a choice is made. The module will build around core questions regarding the quality of biodiversity conservation in protected areas under the influence of how biodiversity is being valued.

Participants will learn to identify the rationality and value assumptions implicitly made when opting for a specific conservation or use concept for biodiversity conservation, either in protected areas or other conservation schemes, like the biosphere reserve.

The course will be conducted as lecture, guest lecture, active participation of students, interaction and presentations by the students. It will be structured along core questions and topics, each for which literature will be recommended. The successful participant will be able to express a professional opinion, backed by literature on each of the core questions.

Core questions, topics and literature along which the course will be structured:

Questions and topics
Literature (most available for download online)

A. Do we need to know the economic value of biodiversity for conserving it?

B. Which ecosystem services and benefits are provided by protected areas?

  • Pearce, D. and Moran, D. 1994. The economic value of biodiversity.IUCN and Earthscan;
  • Kumar, P. (ed.) 2010. The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity. Ecological and Economic Foundations’, London, Washington: Earthscan
  • Salles, J‐M 2011. Valuing biodiversity and ecosystem services: Why put economic values on nature? Coptes Rendus Biologies 334: 469‐482
  • Jones‐Walters, L. and Mulder, I. 2009. Valuing nature: The economics of biodiversity. Journal for Nature Conservation 17: 245‐247
  • Edwards, PJ and Abivardi, C. 1998. The Value of biodiversity: Where ecology and economy blend. Biological Conservation 83 (3):239‐246
  • OECD 2004. Economic Value of Biodiversity, in: Handbook of Market Creation for Biodiversity. Issues in Implementation, OECD Publishing
  • Pearce, D. and Moran, D. 1994. The economic value of biodiversity.London: Earthscan and Cambridge: IUCN Publishing
  • Bennett, J. 2003. The economic value of biodiversity: a scoping paper. Australian National University
C. What is economic value?

– What is non‐economic value?

  • Friedman, D. Price Theory an Intermediate Text, Ch 2, p.20 of pdf, paragraph on Value (online)
  • Vatn, A. 2005. Preferences and values, in: Institutions and the Environment, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp.138‐165
  • Meek, R.L. Value in the history of economic thought.
  • Huemer, M. The theory of economic value. (online)
D. Can economic valuation harm biodiversity and society? If yes, why, when and how?

– Externalities; social costs

  • Kapp, K. W., 1970. Environmental disruption and social costs: A challenge to economics, Kyklos 23: 833‐848
  • Kapp, K. W. 1963. The Social Costs of Business Enterprise Notingham: Spokesman
  • Spash, C. 2008. How Much is that Ecosystem in the Window? The One with the Bio‐diverse Trail. Environmental Values 17(2): 259‐284
  • Spash, C.L. 2010. Brave New World of Carbon Trading, New Political Economy, 15 (2), pp.169–95
E. How to choose to value in order not to harm (biodiversity loss)?

F. Mapping out the dimensions of choice for choosing the value articulating institution

– How are value articulating institutions defined?

G. Does the choice of a valuation method influence biodiversity and its conservation in protected areas?

H. When do value articulating institutions have an integrative and when a segregative impact?

– What are segregative and integrative value articulating institutions

  • Gatzweiler, F. 2012. Choosing how to value. ADT Workshop paper. HU Berlin
  • Vatn, A. 2009. An institutional analysis of methods for environmental appraisal. Ecological Economics 68: 2207‐2215
  • Jacobs, M., 1997. Environmental Valuation, Deliberative Democracy and Public Decisionmaking. In Foster, J. (ed.): Valuing Nature? Economics, Ethics and Environment. London: Routledge.
  • Hagedorn, K. 2008. Segregating and Integrating Institutions – A dichotomy for nature related institutional analysis, in Schäfer, C., Rupschus, C. and Nagel, U.J. (eds.), Enhancing the Capacities of Agricultural Systems and Producers, Proceedings of the Second Green Week Scientific Conference, Weikersheim: Margraf
  • O’Connor, M. 2000. Pathways for environmental evaluation. Ecological Economics 34: 175–193

I. Is failure (biodiversity loss) necessary for making better choices?
  • Swaney, J.A. and Evers, M.A. 1989. The social cost concepts of K.W.Kapp and Karl Polyani
  • Franzini, M. 2006. Social costs, social rights and the limits of free market capitalism: a re‐reading of Kapp (online)
  • Diamond, J. 1995. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. London, UK: Penguin Books
  • Ormerod, P. 2005. ‘Why Most Things Fail: Evolution, Extinction and Economics.’ New Jersey: Wiley
  • Gunderson, Lance and C. S. Holling 2002. Panarchy: Understanding Transformations in Human and Natural Systems. Washington: Island Press
J. Painting the broader picture: socio‐ecological systems, feedback, cognition, failure, biological value, homeostasis and evolution

– Economics as life science?

  • Damasio, A. 2009. Neuroscience and the emergence of neuroeconomicsʼ, in Glimcher, P.W., Camerer, C.F., Fehr, E., and Poldrack, R.A. (eds), Neuroeconomics. Decision Making and the Brain (Amsterdam: Academic Press, Elsevier) pp. 209–13.
  • Daly, H. 1996. On economics as a life science. In: Valueing the earth: Economics, Ecology, Ethics. Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, UK: MIT Press, pages 249‐265; and: Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 76, No. 3 (1968), pp. 392‐40
  • Friedman, D. Economics and Evolutionary Psychology.(Accessed online Oct 2012)

Further selected reading and web resources:

  • Balmford A., Bruner, A., Cooper, P., Costanza, R., Farber, S., Green, R.E., Jenkins, M., Jefferiss, P., Jessamy, V., Madden, J., Munro, K., Myers, N., Naeem, S., Paavola, J., Rayment, M., Rosendo, S., Roughgarden, J., Trumper, K. and Turner, R.K. (2002), ʻEconomic reasons for conserving wild natureʼ, Science, 297 (5583): 950–3.
  • Costanza R., D’arge, R., de Groot, R., Farber, S., Grasso, M., Hannon, B., Naeem, S., Limburg, K., Paruelo, J., o’Neil, R.V., Raskin, R., Sutton, P., van den Belt, M. 1997. The value of the world’s ecosystem services and natural capital, Nature 387, 253‐260.
  • Costanza, R. 2006. Nature: ecosystems without commodifying them, Nature 443: 749, doi:10.1038/443749b
  • Daly, H.E. & Townsend, K.N., 1993. Valuing the earth: economics, ecology, ethics, MIT Press.
  • Gatzweiler, F., 2004. The Changing Nature of Economic Value: Indigenous Forest Garden Values in Kalimanatan, Indonesia: v. 16 1st ed., Shaker Verlag GmbH, Germany.
  • Gatzweiler, F., Volkmann, J., Denich, M., Stellmacher, T., Gole, T., Senbeta, F. And Seyoum, A., 2008. Conservation of endangered Coffea arabica. Business 2010. Secreteriat of the CBD, Quebec, Canada, Archive:
  • Gatzweiler, F. 2008. ʻBeyond Efficiency in Biodiversity ConservaƟonʼ, Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics, 19, pp. 215–38.
  • Gatzweiler, F. 2009. ‘Biodiversity Conservation: Accounting for the Diversity of Values in Nature and Society’, ZEF Policy Brief No. 8, Center for Development Research, University of Bonn.
  • Georgiou, S.G., 1997. Economic values and the environment in the developing world, E. Elgar.
  • Groot, R.S. de, 1992. Functions of nature: evaluation of nature in environmental planning, management and decision making, Wolters‐Noordhoff.
  • Heal, G.M., 2000. Nature and the marketplace: capturing the value of ecosystem services, Island Press.
  • Hein, L. and Gatzweiler, F. 2006. The economic value of coffee genetic resources. Ecological Economics 60: 167‐185
  • McCauley, D.J. 2006. Selling out on nature, Nature 443: 27‐28, doi:10.1038/443027a
  • Pearce, D.W. & Turner, R.K., 1990. Economics of natural resources and the environment, Harvester Wheatsheaf.
  • Spash, C.L. and Hanley, N. (1995), ʻPreferences, informaƟon and biodiversity preservaƟonʼ, Ecological Economics, 12, pp. 191–208.
  • Spash, C. (2008), ‘How Much is that Ecosystem in the Window? The One with the Bio‐diverse Trail.’ Environmental Values 17(2): 259‐284
  • Spash, C.L. (2010a), ʻBrave New World of Carbon Tradingʼ, New PoliƟcal Economy, 15 (2), pp. 169–95.
  • Vatn, A. (2005), Institutions and the Environment (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar).

Selected web resources

The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity

Man and biosphere program, UNESCO

Environmental valuation methods, alternatives

Suggested topics for the homework

(Please read the instructions for homework papers)

  1. “Economic and non‐economic reasons for conserving biodiversity.” Mention the reasons and argue for or against, provide examples, cases, and make references.
  2. “Choice of a value articulating institution and its impact on biodiversity” Mention what value articulating institutions are and how the choice can impact on biodiversity.
  3. Discuss the article: Spash, C. 2008. How Much is that Ecosystem in the Window? The One with the Bio‐diverse Trail. Environmental Values 17(2): 259‐284; identify the critique Prof. Spash presents and discuss pro and contra.
  4. “Ecological and business approach for the conservation of biodiversity in biosphere reserves” Explain what a biosphere reserve is, what it attempts to achieve and how. Discuss the role of business in a biosphere reserve and present arguments for or against a more ecological or business oriented conservation approach. Apart from protected areas, botanical gardens around the world

Oral presentations

Oral presentations contribute to 50% of the overall mark. They are planned for the last day of the block course. Presenters do not need to give a presentation again at the end of the module.

Further details will be provided.

Guest lecturers and excursion

Guest lecturers: (will be present either personally or via media)

  • Dr. Till Stellmacher will present research findings from SW Ethiopia, Sa. Nov. 10 afternoon
  • Dr. Pavan Sukhdev, McCluskey Fellow, Yale University, USA
  • Prof. Dr. William Rees, University of British Columbia, Canada
  • Prof. Dr. Clive Spash, Vienna University of Economics and Business and Norwegian University of Life Sciences.
  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Borsch (tbc), Botanic Garden and the Botanical Museum Berlin‐Dahlem, FU Berlin


The excursion aims at introducing and exploring the role botanic gardens have in biodiversity conservation and protected area management. Botanic gardens play a key role in biodiversity conservation. A large proportion of all known plant species is being conserved and cultivated in botanic gardens around the world. Botanic gardens maintain a wide range of plant species as living plants, in seed banks and tissue culture. They also contribute to the management of protected areas in and outside their garden to promote biodiversity.

Topic of the guided tour: Conservation and Use of Biodiversity and Wild Coffee in Ethiopia.

Meeting point and time: Fr. 23.Nov. 2012, 12:15 Hrs; Entry of the Botanical Garden, Dahlem “Unter den Eichen”, guided tour begins 12:30 Hrs; Entry fee: 3 EUR/person