incentives as a means of conserving wildlife and biological diversity generally

Incentives as a means of conserving wildlife and

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incentives as a means of conserving wildlife and biological diversity generally was not stressed, even though the importance of sustainable development for conservation was recognised. When this strategy was revised in 1991, much more emphasis was placed on the use of economic mechanisms and incentives (IUCN-UNEP-WWF, 1991; Tisdell, 1993, Ch. 16). More recently, the Convention on Biological Diversity (5 June, 1992), agreed to at the United Nations' Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro, gave prominence to economic incentives for conservation. Article 11 states 'Each Contracting Party shall, as far as is possible and as appropriate, adopt economically and socially sound measures that act as incentives for the sustainable use of components of biological diversity'. The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the extent to which the greater economic use of wildlife favours nature conservation and sustainability. But before doing so, it may be useful to discuss the nature of the economic use of wildlife. Economists distinguish between consumptive and non-consumptive use of wildlife; the former involves the physical consumption of wildlife, for example, kangaroos for meat and hides, whereas the latter involves non-physical use, as in the trailing of wildlife for viewing or photography. The former involves the killing of wildlife and the latter does not. However, both types of economic use of wildlife can reduce wildlife population. For· instance, tourists may disturb wildlife and reduce their rate of reproduction, or lead to their capture for display in zoos, thereby possibly depleting wild populations. Economic use of wildlife may be for commercial market-related economic activities or for subsistence purposes.
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