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Market-based instruments for biodiversity: nature at any cost?

Conference, June 8, 2011, Paris

Iddri (the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations) and the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès present Market-based instruments for biodiversity: nature at any cost? The latest in a series exploring key issues of biodiversity, the conference asks: can the economy and the environment ever make good bedfellows?

Fondation d'Entreprise Hermès - Market-based instruments for biodiversity: nature at any cost?
© CC Phillip C

Increasingly, environmental issues are being highlighted and examined through the prism of economics. Hence the biodiversity sector’s growing use of so-called ‘market-based’ instruments. Presented as innovative tools capable of bringing new sources of finance to initiatives in order to preserve our planet’s biodiversity, market-based instruments are a possible alternative to public funding. Acting as ‘carrots’ rather than sticks, they are often seen as more effective than traditional prescriptive and/or coercive measures. Yet their recent implementation has so far produced little evidence to support this.

The conference, organized by Iddri and the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, featured contributions from twenty international speakers, aimed at clarifying the concept of ‘market-based instruments’, pinpointing their precise nature, assessing their relevance to environmental protection measures, and analysing their role in the context of public policy

. Speakers also aimed to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of market-based instruments, and ways in which they might be improved.

The event is part of a wider research programme at Iddri – ‘Decision-making processes in the field of biodiversity: the weight of economic arguments’ – supported by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès.

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