Regulating Global Biodiversity: What is the Problem?

32 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2012

See all articles by Tim Swanson

Tim Swanson

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies

Ben Groom

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Date Written: June 5, 2012

Abstract

We distinguish between local problems of biodiversity loss and global ones, where international cooperation is required. Global biodiversity regulation involves choosing the optimal stopping rule regarding global land conversions, in order to ensure that some areas of unconverted natural reserves remain to support the production sector that exists on converted lands. The basic difficulty with implementing a solution to this global problem lies in the asymmetry in endowments between those states that have previously converted, and those that have not. We demonstrate that the fundamental problem of global biodiversity regulation is similar to the bargaining problem analysed by Nash, Rubinstein and others. There are benefits from global land conversion, and there must be agreement on their distribution before the conversion process can be halted. Since the institutions addressing global biodiversity problems are either highly ineffectual (benefit sharing agreements, prior informed consent clauses) or very extreme (incremental cost contracts), the biodiversity bargaining problem remains unresolved. For this reason we anticipate that suboptimal conversions will continue to occur, as a way of protesting the ineffective and unfair approaches employed in addressing this problem to date.

Keywords: Global Biodiversity, International Environmental Policy, Nash Bargaining, Rational Threats

JEL Classification: Q240, Q280

Suggested Citation

Swanson, Tim and Groom, Ben, Regulating Global Biodiversity: What is the Problem? (June 5, 2012). FEEM Working Paper No. 31.2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2077663 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2077663

Tim Swanson (Contact Author)

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies ( email )

PO Box 136
Geneva, CH-1211
Switzerland

Ben Groom

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
41
Abstract Views
573
PlumX Metrics