Commodification of nature refers to the expansion of market trade to previously non-marketed spheres. This is a contested issue both in the scientific literature and in policy deliberations. The aim of this paper is to analytically clarify and distinguish between different purposes and degrees of commodification and to focus attention to the safeguards: the detailed institutional design.
We identify six degrees of commodification and find that all ecosystem services policies are associated with some degree of commodification but only the two highest degrees can properly be associated with neoliberalisation of nature. For example, most payments for ecosystem services (PES) are subsidy-like government compensations not based on monetary valuation of nature. Biodiversity offsets can be designed as market schemes or non-market regulations; the cost-effectiveness of markets cannot be assumed. To avoid the confusion around the concept ‘market-based instrument’ we suggest replacing it with ‘economic instruments’ since relying on the price signal is not the same thing as relying on the market.
We provide a comprehensive framework emphasising the diversity in institutional design, valuation approaches and role of markets. This provides flexibility and options for policy integration of biodiversity and ecosystem services in different countries according to their political and cultural context.
Research news | 2020-03-31
Marine resources and the benefits from the ocean are not equitably distributed. Ocean economics is in need of a shift, report says
General news | 2020-03-30
We have never before produced so many peer-reviewed papers – and in high-impact journals – as in 2019
Research news | 2020-03-26
Three major innovations helped shape the global food system in the past. How can we learn from them to develop a more sustainable system for the future?
Research news | 2020-03-24
Researchers and practitioners present a vision and strategy to better include different worldviews on the value of nature. All with a little help of the octopus
Research news | 2020-03-23
Researchers urge hydrology and water community to join the “Grand Challenge” in establishing safe limits to human interference with the global water cycle
Research news | 2020-03-19
Four-year programme receives SEK 64 million from the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research (Mistra)