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Biodiversity, trade and international agreements

Edward B. Barbier (Centre for Environment and Development Economics, Environment Department, University of York, Heslington, York, UK)

Journal of Economic Studies

ISSN: 0144-3585

Article publication date: 1 February 2000



The global market failure problem of international biodiversity loss can be mitigated through the use of trade interventions or by the creation of new international markets and institutions for the global environmental benefits generated by the biodiversity conserved by host countries. However, it may be difficult to reach a mutually agreed “trade for nature” deal when the biodiversity in the host country is threatened mainly by habitat conversion. On the other hand, if the threat is from over‐exploitation, unilateral trade interventions by the recipient countries are also likely. Although there may be strong incentives for the latter countries to negotiate an international biodiversity agreement, if such incentives exist, then these countries may act unilaterally to compensate host countries for their conservation efforts. Rich countries therefore need convincing that they are likely to gain from reducing global biodiversity loss.



Barbier, E.B. (2000), "Biodiversity, trade and international agreements", Journal of Economic Studies, Vol. 27 No. 1/2, pp. 55-74.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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