FEEM working papers "Note di lavoro" series
2006 .025

Analysis and Evaluation of Ecosystem Resilience: An Economic Perspective


Authors: Lucia Vergano, Paulo A.L.D. Nunes
Series: Climate Change and Sustainable Development
Editor: Carlo Carraro
Type: Journal
Keywords: Ecosystems' resilience,Ecosystems' thresholds,Natural insurance capital,
JEL n.: D62,H41,Q25,Q28,Q51
JEL: Biodiversity and Conservation
Pages: Vol. 16, No. 12, pp. 3385-3408
Date: 11/2007

Abstract

This paper focuses on the analyses and evaluation of resilience anchored in an economic perspective. Resilience, as well as most of the benefits provided by ecosystems, is not priced on current markets. However, this does not mean that resilience is of no value for humans. On the contrary, the interest of using an economic perspective, and the respective scientific methodology, will be put forward in terms of resilience relevance for ecosystems' life and functioning, and its impact on human welfare. The economic perspective is anchored in an anthropocentric analysis meaning that resilience is evaluated in terms of provision of natural capital benefits. These, in turn, are interpreted as an insurance against the risk of ecosystem malfunctioning and the consequent interruption of the provision of goods and services to humans. For this analysis, we make use of a conceptual framework so as to identify and describe the different value components of resilience. Finally, we present an illustration that tackles the economic analysis and discussion of resilience benefits in the context of the Venice Lagoon.

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