Economic impact of nature conservation management Rob TinchEnvironmental Futures Ltd.
OutlineReminder of EEA contextBrief discussion of conceptual and methodological issuesSmall, random assortment of evidenceA few suggestions / questions
EEA ContextIs it feasible to measure, given existing models and data?
Strands of EEA contextValuation of economic damage due to loss of biodiversity; alternatively assessing the economic value of maintaining biodiversity through conservation policy; Review of cost-effectiveness of (alternative) biodiversity conservation policies and instruments; Economic impact (gained income, jobs) of biodiversity conservation management; Developing SEBI2010 indicators. Not included: assessing the implications for biodiversity of expanding economic activity (drivers).
Background text Expenditures and fiscal advantages on biodiversity management economic activities yield income and create jobsRelevant to Lisbon agendaNot widely investigated Inventory / assessment on a case study basis Test the feasibility of a wider approach.
Concepts and Methods
Economic and SocialEconomic benefits: from ecosystem services, provision of food and timber products, activities such as tourism, training and education, and the direct sale of products. This can lead to significant local income and employment gains as well as wider regional development benefits.Social benefits: broader employment and diversification opportunities for local people leading to greater economic stability and improved living conditions; strengthened sense of place and social identity; safeguarded cultural/natural heritage; more opportunity for environmental education and leisure, health and amenity.
Economic and Social IIOverlapping definitions: double counting?Focus on distribution not efficiencyEconomic value via services and valuationjobs / expenditure not a good proxye.g. digging and filling in holes...dangerous if confusion on jobs and valuethe focus in the EU seems to be rather on the economic and social objectives... than on the environmental pillar
Focus on social benefitsRemote rural areas:few alternative jobs little scope for diversificationSupplementary income opportunities where conservation part of a pattern of pluri-activity Tourism: secondary employment opportunities larger economic impact than land managementsocial or general economic?Keeps ecologists off the streets...
Key measuresDirect jobs from nature conservationIndirect jobs in tourismJobs in industries supported by services fisheries; forestry; low input agricultureSocial focus (economics covered)location specificmore than just jobs / income (indicators??)where are the boundaries?
Basic approachesEconometric models (e.g. expenditure/jobs panel data): attempt to identify effects of multiple statistical relationshipsdo not account for underlying economy-wide structure. Simulation models (e.g. input-output, social accounting matrices)snapshot of economy-wide linkages hold these constant when estimating the effects of subsequent changes.
Evidence(quickly and randomly selected)
Employment Creation and Environmental Policy (PPRA 2000)Research in three broad categories:macro effects of environmental policies on competitiveness and consequent levels of employmentsector specific studiesassessment of what skills are required to fill potential new jobs in sustainable industries.
Literature evidenceNo evidence that environmental policy has damaged the competitiveness of any country Most models predict positive employment impacts (variety of different assumptions, model types, world regions) Environmentally sensitive agriculture and forestry is generally thought to be more labour intensive The creation of better habitats and rural environments also offers spin off employment in the tourism sector
Promoting the Socio-Economic Benefits of Natura 2000 (IEEP 2002)EU: around 125,000 jobs via nature protection related activities in 1999 (ECOTEC, 2001).3 to 5 FTE jobs created directly by Natura 2000 site related activities = 1 more job by impact of revenue from site related activities If site prime reason for tourist visit, one job for site-related activities can support 46 additional jobs through tourist expenditure. Smaller areas suffer more leakage of benefits so have a smaller multiplier effect.correct level of aggregation to avoid double-counting?
Getzner and Jungmeier (2002)Regional economic impact of Natura 2000 conservation sites in Austria Establishment of Natura 2000 conservation areas leads to at least small positive economic implications (local and regional value added, increased employment) In single cases of land use conflicts, there might also be negative economic effects.Main regional development opportunities are in the fields of tourism; and to a smaller extent in agriculture, forestry, hunting and fisheries.
Agricultural paymentsSingle farm payments: cut UK agriculture labour 3-7 %In addition to a continuing declining trend Industries supplying agriculture or dependent on its output: 1-2% fall in employment. Increased opportunities for employment in higher value added or other land based enterprises.Stewardship schemes research to be commissioned by Defra 2006/7How to split impacts between conservation, agricultural support, removing distortion of CAP?
Suggestions / Questionsfor further discussion
Supporting actions (IEEP)Benefits not independent of management:Conservation sites, benefits, values need integrated into local, rural, regional, national development plansEnsure inclusion of conservation sites in tourist information (often overlooked)Investment in information centres, tourist accommodation, walking and cycling paths.How should we account for this in measuring benefits of conservation spending?
What about volunteers?RSPB: over 20,000 volunteers BTCV: 130,000 volunteers each yearWildlife Trusts: more than 24,000 active volunteers Similar picture in Europe?Volunteers benefit from volunteering Important part of social sustainability
Benefits transfer approach?Economic value studies used for transferDo same for employment / economic multiplier studies?fits with case-study approachmeasure site-specific variablesarea, accessibility, catchment, diversity, facilities, publicity, support...meta-analysis for transfercould this fit with rapid / remote assessment at EU level?
Economic valuation?Rather than focusing on income and expenditure ... measures of cost of the sector, WTP gives some idea of the benefits ... to society (Foster et al, The Price of Virtue)Consider pros/cons of translating social and employment impacts into monetary terms: why not just use shadow wages?What about other social benefits not covered by jobs or income?
Dynamics?Need to consider dynamics?changing economies (at different scales)ecosystem dynamicsclimate changeimplications for nature conservationWhat are the implications for assessment of social benefits of nature conservation?
ConclusionsFeasible to assess at EU level?probablyWorth funding a lit review / feasibility study?yesGreat care needed to keep concepts and methods clear:what is being countedwhere are risks of double countingwhat is not covered at all