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Valuing Biodiversity – Project Summary


This project will aid governmental agencies in New Zealand by providing policy management tools that will enable them to make more effective and efficient responses to pest and disease incursions that impact on indigenous biodiversity.


Exotic pests and diseases continually threaten New Zealand’s indigenous biodiversity. These incursion events often require rapid responses. Therefore, the success of New Zealand’s Biodiversity Strategy depends not only upon knowledge of these exotic species incursions and the damage they may inflict, but also on the use of management tools to better respond to these incursions. Currently, considerable work is going into risk assessment of incursions, but the link in the chain between good science and policy implementation is very weak. This research is directly aligned with the Biodiversity Strategy by strengthening the management systems for risks to indigenous biodiversity from unwanted and new organisms. The benefit to New Zealand will be better protection of indigenous biodiversity based on decisions supported by economic quantification of costs and benefits.

Project Objectives

The primary objective of the project is to create a method that can be applied by Biosecurity New Zealand (BNZ) to rapidly and accurately evaluate and rank projects aimed at protecting indigenous biodiversity from incursions of exotic pests and diseases. This objective will be achieved by developing a robust economic framework that maps the exotic pest/disease pathway within the indigenous ecosystem; identifies exposure and risk; traces out the time dimension associated with incursion; links management responses to outcomes, the costs of management and associated benefits. Applied valuation studies will be integrated into the economic framework. A Decision Support System (DSS) will be produced. The DSS model will be developed so that it can be operationally implemented by BNZ staff.

Research Team

Research Team Leader: Brian Bell, Director Nimmo-Bell & Company Ltd
Dr. Frank Scrimgeour (University of Waikato)
Dr. Geoff Kerr (Lincoln University)
Dr. Basil Sharp (University of Auckland).
Dr. Pamela Kaval (University of Waikato)

Biosecurity New Zealand

Sponsor: Douglas Birnie, Director Policy & Business
Point of first contact: Chris Baddeley, Director Policy Group

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