Why shouldn't people who deplete our natural assets have to pay and those who protect them reap profits? Conservation-minded entrepreneurs and others around the world are beginning to ask just such a question, as the increasing scarcity of natural resources becomes a tangible threat to our own lives and our hopes for our children. This text brings together Gretchen Daily, an ecologist, with Katherine Ellison, a journalist, to offer an engaging and informative look at a new "new economy" - a system which recognizes the economic value of natural systems and the potential profist in protecting them. Through engaging stories from around the world, the authors introduce readers to a diverse group of people who are pioneering new approaches to conservation.
We meet Adam Davis, an American business executive who dreams of establishing a market for buying and selling "ecosystem service units"; John Walmsley, a former maths professor in Australia who has found a way to play the stock market and protest native species at the same time; and Dan Janzen, a biologist working in Cost Rica who devised a controversial plan to sell a conservation area's natural waste-disposal services to a local orange juice producer. Readers also visit the Catskill Mountains, where the city of New York purchased undeveloped land instead of building an expensive new water treatment facility; and King Couny, Washington, where county executive Ron Sims has dedicated himself to finding ways of "making the market move" to protect the county's remaining open space. Daily and Ellison describe the dynamic interplay of science, economics, business and politics that is involved in establishing these new approaches and examine what will be needed to create successful models and lasting institutions for conservation.