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Dr Bhaskar Vira: The political economy of ecosystem services

December 2012 – The past decade has seen a growing interest in ecosystem services, one of the focus areas of Dr Bhaskar Vira and his colleagues at the University of Cambridge’s Department of Geography. Ecosystems services have been defined by landmark research projects like the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) as “the benefits people obtain from ecosystems” and “the direct and indirect contributions of ecosystems to human wellbeing”.

Bhaskar Vira SOSOL

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Cambridge geographer Bhaskar Vira, a key contributor to CISL’s work on Valuing Externalities, introduces us to the political economy of ecosystems services – the complex social and political questions behind attempts to set a value on natural resources. Who gains, who loses in choices over nature conservation? Without asking these questions, we will miss out on just and equitable, not to mention realistic and sustainable, solutions. Interview by Wayne Visser.

Published: December 2012