V. Kerry Smith

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Allow “nonuse rights” to conserve natural resources

by Bryan Leonard, Shawn Regan, Dominic Parker, Andrew Plantinga, V. Kerry Smithvia Science
Friday, August 27, 2021

Market approaches to environmental conservation, by which mechanisms such as property rights, prices, and contracts are used to advance environmental goals, have gained traction globally in recent decades. But in many cases, antiquated rules limit their role in conserving public natural resources. “Use-it-or-lose-it” requirements, together with narrow definitions of eligible “uses,” can preclude environmental groups from participating in markets for natural resources. These restrictions can bias resource management in favor of extractive users, even when conservation interests are willing to pay more to protect resources from development. 

Additional Co-Authors: Christopher Costello, Suzi Kerr, James Salzman, and Temple Stoellinger