On Eco System Service Valuation

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Renegade Economists Show #274

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Moss forest in Finisterre Range, Papua New Guinea

Mining and logging make the big bucks, but what’s the true cost? This week Karl interviews Ian Curtis, of Curtis NRA, whose landmark work on Eco System Service Valuation has won a serious battle in Papua New Guinea. He combines ecology and economics to calculate the cost of environmental degradation on people and land.

In PNG resource rents are too low to cover the cost of the damage, but last year in a landmark judgement courts found in favour of the traditional owners of the land, using the environmental valuation method to award them $90 million (but, as always, there’s a hitch).

Karl and Ian discuss the methods used to determine the value of land, from the rainforest to the open grasslands. Curtis also discusses the valuation of 600,000 hectares of now defunct stock routes in New South Wales.

To hear more about land valuation in Australia and beyond, follow the link above for this week’s Renegade Economists.

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