Economics and ecology

DOC study

The Department of Conservation wants to apply ecological economics tools for estimating the value of conservation to New Zealand society and economy. We interviewed kaitiaki (Māori environmental stewards), community conservationists and ‘process professionals’ like scientists, educationalists and policy makers from DOC and regional councils to find out why they are so passionate about restoring forests and ecosystems.

Our combination of qualitative and quantitative research approaches showed that individuals and the stakeholder groups had varied and very different reasons for putting so much effort into restoration work - and that a lot of their motivations reflected intangible values that would be very hard to measure using existing ecological economic techniques. We recommended further development of valuation tools before they can be safely applied to guide forest restoration options.

  • Tukutuku.
  • Harvesting Kaimoana.
  • Kelp.

Department of Conservation

Lead contractor:
Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research

Contact for reference:
Dr Phil Lyver

Sample publication:

Phipps, H.; Akins, A.; Moller, H.; Lyver, P.O’B.; Kahui, V.; Towns, D. (2011) Cross-cultural values for restoring coastal forest ecosystems in New Zealand. Landcare Research Contract Report LC 243. 135 pp.

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Ecosystems Consultants.