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Integrating the cost of natural resources into the market economy
The economy is the primary institution through which society allocates and encourages conservation of most scarce resources. It is of concern, then, that existing management systems treat many natural resources as essentially free for those who have access.
In October 2005, we commenced studies based on potential new uses of market-based approaches. Findings from the first three studies -- Motueka water allocation, Taupo nitrate trading, and resource rent -- are available below. The results of the next three studies were presented at our “Northern Lights” conference in Wellington on 21 August 2007.
Findings of our work on integrated assessment are summarised in a paper, Stakeholders and Evaluative Integration, presented at the annual conference of the International Association of Impact Assessment in June 2007. See also our Review of Integrated Impact Assessment, April 2006.
Motueka water allocation
In a study with Landcare Research, we are developing a proposed framework for water allocation (including transferability of permits), using the Motueka catchment in Tasman District, New Zealand as a case study. An interim report on this work can be found here: Update on Motueka case study: responses to water allocation proposals.
Taupo nitrate trading game
Another study examined the use of a role-playing game to increase stakeholder understanding of a regional council proposal to use establish tradeable discharge allowances for farmers as part of managing nitrate contamination of Lake Taupo in the central North Island. A report on some results from our Taupo work can be found here: Berlin conference paper on Taupo stakeholder workshop & survey
In our third study, we explored the concept of resource rent, describing what it means in a practical sense and how it might be applied in New Zealand. Download our report: Resource Rent - have you paid any lately?
Ex post case studies
Earlier, we concluded three case studies of market-based approaches that have already been used or considered in New Zealand: transferable quota for fisheries, transferability of water permits, and charges for occupation of coastal space.
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