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Ecosystem services and green growth

Jeffrey Vincent ()

No 6233, Policy Research Working Paper Series from The World Bank

Abstract: "Ecosystem services"has become a catch-phrase for the complex connections between the natural environment and human well-being. This paper considers the impact of changes in the supply of ecosystem services, and programs to increase their supply, on near-term growth of gross domestic product. It focuses on the relationship between locally generated versus transboundary services and growth in developing countries, where the highest rates of ecosystem degradation tend to be found. There is a common perception that there is a tradeoff between environmental protection and economic growth, especially in the near term. This perception can make policymakers reluctant to support environmental protection. Where the environment is a source of economically important services, then environmental protection may stimulate growth of gross domestic product instead of reducing it. The paper considers evidence on the economic value of regulating services; the degree to which ecosystems actually supply some of the services they are commonly assumed to supply; and the near-term growth implications of restoring ecosystems, and reducing their loss. This leads to a discussion on the effectiveness of programs intended to reduce ecosystem loss, with a focus on protected areas and payments for ecosystem services, and the effects of these programs on poverty alleviation.

Keywords: Environmental Economics&Policies; Ecosystems and Natural Habitats; Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases; Wildlife Resources; Climate Change and Environment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012-10-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ene, nep-env and nep-res
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