International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics > Vol 2 > Issue 1

Poverty, Development, and Ecological Services

Edward B. Barbier, Department of Economics and Finance, University of Wyoming, USA,
Suggested Citation
Edward B. Barbier (2008), "Poverty, Development, and Ecological Services", International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics: Vol. 2: No. 1, pp 1-27.

Published: 16 Jun 2008
© 2008 Edward B. Barbier
Environmental Economics
Coral reefsDeveloping countriesEconomic developmentEcosystem servicesMangrovesPovertyTropical forests

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In this article:
1 Introduction
2 Ecosystem Services
3 Ecosystem Services and the Economic Livelihoods of the Poor
4 Current Trends in Ecosystem Degradation and Loss — Are the Poor Responsible?
5 Protecting and Improving the Provision of Ecosystem Services
6 Targeting the Rural Poor in Fragile Environments
7 Final Remarks


The importance of ecosystem services to human welfare and economic livelihoods in low-income countries is now well recognized. Poor people in developing regions are particularly vulnerable to the deteriorating ecological values resulting from the loss of tropical forests, coral reefs, mangroves, and other ecosystems. Current efforts to reconcile development pressures with maintaining key ecosystem benefits focus on payment for environmental services and other incentives to protect critical ecosystems and habitat in developing countries. But geographical targeting and other means of tackling poverty more directly should be considered also.