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Products: Hawaii's Environment

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Models of Spatial and Intertemporal Invasive Species Management

Prepared for the NCEE Valuation for Environmental Policy: Ecological Benefits Conference April 23-24, 2007.

uhero project report


The Economic Value of Watershed Conservation

Watershed conservation creates benefits within and beyond the management area of interest. Direct benefits are those realized in the watershed itself, such as improved water quality and quantity, and biodiversity protection. Additionally, the health of a watershed has profound implications on near-shore resources below its reaches, including beaches and coral reefs. This chapter reviews the major benefits of watershed conservation and discusses the economic value of these activities.

working paper


Economic lessons from control efforts for an invasive species: Miconia calvescens in Hawaii

Once established, invasive species can rapidly and irreversibly alter ecosystems and degrade the value of ecosystem services. Optimal control of an unwanted species solves for a trajectory of removals that minimizes the present value of removal costs and residual damages from the remaining population. The shrubby tree, Miconia calvescens, is used to illustrate dynamic policy options for a forest invader. Potential damages to Hawaii’s forest ecosystems are related to decreased aquifer recharge, biodiversity, and other ecosystem values. We find that population reduction is the optimal management policy for the islands of Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii. On the island of Kauai, where tree density is lower and search costs higher, optimal policy calls for deferring removal expenditures until the steady state population is reached.

Published: Burnett, K. M., Kaiser, B. A., and Roumasset, J. A., 2007.  Economic lessons from control efforts for an invasive species: Miconia calvescens in Hawaii. Journal of Forest Economics, 13, 151-167. 

Working Paper version


Spatial containment of invasive species: Insights from economics

Economics can clarify the discussion on invasive species in at least three ways. First is
through the use of incentives to change human behavior so as to enhance protection
against the introduction, establishment, and spread of invasive species across the world.
The second recognizes the public good characteristics of invasive species control, and
develops institutions to support the weakest members of our global community (Perrings
et al. 2002). The third component involves choosing optimal investment in invasive
species management across space, species, and time. This paper is a first attempt at
addressing the third component, optimal spatial containment of an invasive species.

working paper


Optimal Public Control of Exotic Species: Preventing the Brown Tree Snake from Invading Hawai‘i

This paper develops a theoretical model for the efficient establishment of economic policy pertaining to invasive species, integrating prevention and control of invasive species into a single model of optimal control policy, and applies this model to the case of the Brown tree snake as a potential invader of Hawaii.

working paper


Economic impacts of non-indigenous species: Miconia and the Hawaiian economy

Imperfect scientific information regarding potential invasiveness, differences between private and public outcomes for individual decisions regarding planting, and inadequate prevention activity combine to impose costs through a change in native ecosystems susceptible to invasion by hardy, rapidly reproducing non-indigenous species. Concepts and tools from economic theory that may improve policy decisions are explored through the specific example of Miconia calvescens in Hawaii. Rapid expansion of Miconia calvescens, an ornamental tree introduced to several Pacific Islands over the last century, threatens local watersheds, endangered species, and recreational and aesthetic values in the Hawaiian and Society Islands. Potential welfare losses from the unchecked spread of Miconia in Hawaii are illustrated. Policy options investigated include accommodation of these losses, efforts at containment, or eradication. Estimates are determined through an optimal control model describing the potential expansion of the weed and its control costs and damages. Results suggest that cost-effective policies will vary with the level of invasion as well as the expected net benefits from control efforts.

working paper


Efficient Water Allocation with Win-Win Conservation Surcharges: The Case of the Ko‘olau Watershed

The one-demand Hotelling model fails to explain the observed specialization of non-renewable resources. We develop a model with multiple demands and resources to show that specialization of resources according to demand is driven by Ricardian comparative advantage while the order of resource use over time is determined by Ricardian absolute advantage. An abundant resource with absolute advantage in all demands must be initially employed in all demands. When each resource has an absolute advantage in some demand, no resource may be used exclusively. The two-by-two model is characterized. Resource and demand-specific taxes are shown to have significant substitution effects. 

working paper


Valuing Indirect Ecosystem Services: the Case of Tropical Watersheds

Mitigating the harmful effects of development projects and industries (negative environmentalism) is inadequate, especially in resource-dependent economies whose resources are at risk from other forces. While positive environmentalism includes conservation projects, the non-market benefits of such projects are difficult to evaluate. This paper provides and illustrates a method for evaluating the indirect, watershed benefits of a tropical forest, without resorting to survey methods. The conservation of trees prevents a reapportionment from groundwater recharge to runoff that would otherwise occur. The value of the water saved is then valued at the shadow prices obtained from an optimizing model. An illustration of the model shows that watershed conservation projects may have very high payoffs, even before assessing existence values and other forest amenities.

working paper


Control of Invasive Species: Lessons from Miconia in Hawai'i

 The threat of invasive species stems from their ability to rapidly and irreversibly change ecosystems and degrade the value of ecosystem services. Optimal control of a pre-established exotic pest minimizes the costs of population reduction plus the residual damages from the remaining pest population. The shrubby tree, Miconia calvescens, is used to illustrate dynamic policy options for a forest invader. Potential damages to Hawaii's forest ecosystems are related to decreased aquifer recharge, biodiversity, and other ecosystem values. We find that population reduction is the optimal management policy for the islands of Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii. On the island of Kauai, however, optimal policy calls for deferring control expenditures until the (larger) steady state population is reached.

working paper


On the Garden Path: an economic perspective on prevention and control policies for an invasive species

 

Published: Kaiser, B. A., 2006. On the Garden Path: an economic perspective on prevention and control policies for an invasive species.  Choices: The Magazine of Food, Farm, and Resource Issues. 21 (3), 139-142.


Prevention, Eradication, and Containment of Invasive Species: Illustrations from Hawaii

Invasive species change ecosystems and the economic services such ecosystems provide. Optimal policy will minimize the expected damages and costs of prevention and control. We seek to explain policy outcomes as a function of biological and economic factors, using the case of Hawaii to illustrate. First, we consider an existing invasion, Miconia calvescens, a plant with the potential to reduce biodiversity, soil cover, and water availability. We then examine an imminent threat, the potential arrival of the Brown Treesnake (Boiga irregularis). The arrival of the snake to Guam has led to native bird extirpations, power outages, and health costs.

Published: Burnett, K., Kaiser, B., Pitafi, B. A., Roumasset, J., 2006.  Prevention, eradication, and containment of invasive species: Illustrations from Hawaii.  Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, 35 (1), 63-77.

working paper version


Sustainable Growth with Environmental Spillovers

In this paper, we apply the approach of Ramsey and Koopmans to the problem of optimal and sustainable growth. Under plausible assumptions, intertemporal neutrality implies that the optimal growth path is sustainable without the contrivance of a sustainability constraint. The model is extended to cases involving environmental disamenities. The solutions equivalently solve the problem of maximizing net national product adjusted for depreciation in natural capital and environmental effects. Green net national product in this framework is constant over time, thus avoiding the paradox of declining sustainable income.

Published: Endress, L. H., Roumasset, J. A. and Zhou, T., 2005. Sustainable growth with environmental spillovers.  Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 58 (4), 527-547.


Mitigating Runoff As Part of an Integrated Strategy for Nearshore Resource Conservation

This report first presents theoretical considerations for integrated resource management of forested watershed and nearshore resources, then estimates current economic benefits from nearshore resources (beaches and reef) as well as expected economic benefits, in the form of preserved nearshore resource benefits, from conservation of forest resources.

Uhero project report


Optimal Management of a Renewable and Replaceable Resource: The Case of Coastal Groundwater

 

Published: Roumasset, J., Krulce, D. and Wilson, T., 1997. Optimal management of a renewable and replaceable resource: The case of coastal groundwater. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, November 1997. Reprinted in Easter, W. and Renwick, M., 2004. Economics of Water Resources, Ashgate.


Endogenous Substitution Among Energy Resources and Global Warming

The theory of resource extraction has focused primarily on extraction when there is a single, homogeneous demand for the resource. In reality, however, we observe the simultaneous extraction of different resources such as oil, coal, and natural gas and multiple demands such as trasportation, residential and commercial heating, and electricity generation. This paper develops a model with multiple resources and grades and multiple demands. The model is simulated with extraction cost, estimated reserves, and energy demand data for the world economy. It is shown that if historical rates of cost reduction in the production of solar energy are maintained, more than 90 percent of the world's coal will never be used. The world will move from oil and natural gas use to solar energy. Global temperatures will rise by only about 1.5–2 degrees centigrade by the middle of the next century and then decline steadily to preindustrial levels, even without carbon taxes. These results are significantly lower than those predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and suggest that the case for global warming may be seriously overstated.

Chakravorty, U., Roumasset, J., Tse, K., 1997. Endogenous substitution among energy resources and global warming.  Journal of Political Economy, 105 (6), 1201-1234.  Reprinted in Hoel, M. Recent developments in environmental economics. Edward Elgar, 2004.


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