Protected area economics and policy: linking conservation by Mohan Munasinghe, Jeffrey A. McNeely, Adelaida Schwab

By Mohan Munasinghe, Jeffrey A. McNeely, Adelaida Schwab

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Protected areas are crucial for conserving biodiversity, which itself has considerable value. S. National Cancer Institute has identified 3,000 plants that are active against cancer cells, 70 percent of which come from the rainforest (Bird 1991) and can best be preserved in protected areas. In 1980, the market in the United States alone for prescriptions containing active principles from plants was worth more than $8 billion, with the world figure now exceeding $50 billion. Protected areas harbor many of the species on which this trade depends.

Munasinghe, Mohan. 1992. " Ambio 21(3), May. Munasinghe, Mohan. 1993. " Environment Paper no. 3. : World Bank. Pearce, David, E. Barbier, and A. Markandya. 1990. Sustainable Development: Economics and Environment in the Third World. London: Edward Elgar Ltd. Prendergast, J. , R. M. Quin, J. H. Lotten, B. H. Eversham, and D. W. Gibbons. 1993. " Nature 365:335-37. Westman, Walter E. 1977. " Science 197:960-64. Page 13 A ECONOMIC POLICY AND INCENTIVES Page 15 2 Economic and Policy Issues in Natural Habitats and Protected Areas Mohan Munasinghe In recent times, the degradation of the environment has emerged as a major worldwide concern.

In North America, some 70 percent of Japanese and European tourists visit national parks. In five Latin American countries, 41 to 75 percent of foreign tourists visited protected areas. Bird-watchers visiting the Point Pelee National Park in Canada, a prime location for observing the spring migration of passerine birds, brings in at least $6 million per year in net economic value (Butler, Hvenegaard, and Krystofiak, this volume). In a preliminary study, Wescott (this volume) demonstrates, within a limited scope of preliminary indicators, that there was some economic benefit (for example, increased demand for hotel and motel rooms) as a result of an increase in tourism corresponding to the creation of the Grampians National Park in Australia.

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