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Publication Info: Dasgupta, P. The Economics of Biodiversity: Afterword.
Date of Publication: November 3
Year of Publication: 2022
Author(s): Partha Dasgupta
Journal: Environ Resource Econ
The full special issue is now available for free until January 25:
The Economics of Biodiversity: Building on the Dasgupta Review
This Afterword to The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review discusses (i) the ideas in the Review that have been accepted readily by decision-makers and are being put into operation, (ii) those that have been accepted but are judged by decision-makers to be unworkable in the contemporary climate, (iii) those that are seen as politically too sensitive even to acknowledge in public.
Keywords: Biosphere · Impact inequality · Population · Inclusive wealth · Biodiversity
In Spring 2019 the UK’s then Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip (now Lord) Hammond invited me to prepare an independent, global review of the economics of biodiversity. The report (henceforth, Review) was completed in mid-December 2020. The full text is 601 pages long, but because it necessarily contains much technical material, I prepared an abridged (99 pages), non-technical version, and my Treasury team prepared a brief, collating the Review’s headline messages. All three documents are available online on the UK Treasury’s website; but the full Review, with several additional sections, boxes, and annexes to include themes of potential interest to graduate students is also being published by Cambridge University Press later this year.
Because both my team and I felt we needed a break on completion, the Review was launched before the public only on 2nd February 2021, at the Royal Society, London (the launch proceedings are available on you-tube). Soon thereafter the Treasury issued a response to the Review (also available on its website) and demonstrated its support by retaining several members of my team for the remainder of the calendar year to facilitate its dissemination. I am grateful to the Treasury for their courtesy, for I have learnt an enormous amount from the more than 150 events I have since been involved in (lectures, Q&As, interviews, and panel discussions), engaging not only with professionals from environmental and development charities, government departments, international organizations, scientific associations, think tanks, academic journals, literary magazines, research institutes, business schools, and groups representing indigenous people; but numerically even more, with financiers, bankers, farmers, ecologists, legal scholars, politicians, environmentalists, agronomists, statisticians, journalists, clerics, Earth scientists, and national and international civil servants. There has no doubt been self-selection at work, but the level of interest in the economics of Nature among people at large feels unreal to me when I place it in comparison to the interest among editorial boards of leading economics journals. Which is why, I am most grateful to Professor Ingmar Schumacher, who as editor of this symposium, encouraged me
to put down my impressions of how the Review has been received; in particular, identify (i) the ideas that have been accepted readily and are being put into operation, (ii) those that have been accepted but are judged by decision makers to be unworkable in the contemporary climate, (iii) those that are seen as politically too sensitive even to acknowledge in public. I do that, respectively, in Sects. 4, 5, and 6. Again, with Schumacher’s encouragement and that of a referee, I use Sect.7 to reflect on a New Consensus that appears to have formed among national and international decision makers on global economic development. And I am grateful to Professors Heidi Albers, Amy Ando, Ed Barbier, and Scott Barrett for their contributions to this symposium. Their pieces stand on their own and extend the Review’s reach.
Read or download the full paper here or use the above download link, or the full special issue for free here.
Read an article by The Guardian on the report’s recommendations here.
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