Using cost benefit analysis tools for biodiversity impact assessment

Employing business cost benefit analysis procedures for biological resource conservation
Developing where feasible cost-effectiveness analyses of relevant strategies, plans, programmes, policies and projects affecting biodiversity.
In principle, it should be possible through cost benefit analysis to place values upon any of the impacts made on the environment by economic development. In practice, it is not always possible to quantify the value of improvements or losses to the environment. Moreover, it is not always obvious what the environmental impact of a decision will be, even in physical terms.

Environmental impact assessments usually identify mitigation measures to potential problems. It is desirable to identify levels of acceptable risk, or state of biodiversity that is considered undesirable. Such limits could be either expressed in biological terms (e.g. percentage of biomass below which a given species should not be driven) or in economic terms (e.g. minimum profitability from tourism or fisheries).

Decision-makers and users of biological resources should be guided by economic approaches which assess the full social and environmental costs and benefits of projects, plans and policies that impact upon biodiversity, and which internalise costs borne to the environment and to society. These should reflect both the economic loss that results when biodiversity is degraded or lost, as well as the value gained from conserving the resource.

Type Classification:
E: Emanations of other strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyGOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and ProductionGOAL 15: Life on Land