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Cost-benefit analysis of conservation policy: The red palm weevil in Catalonia, Spain

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Invasive species are costly for human health, the environment and the economy while their burden is expected to rise. With limited budgets to address biological invasions, effective resource allocation is important. In the past decade, multiple frameworks have emerged to support this budgeting, but it is not clear if current strategies are consistent with these. Amongst invasive species, insects are the costliest. In this article we evaluate a set of conservation policies in response to the arrival of the invasive beetle, the red palm weevil (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus) in Catalonia, Spain. The purpose of the selected schemes was to preserve palm species (Phoenix. spp) serving ornamental purposes. In a region with a large portion of land dedicated to agricultural activities and with densely populated coastal areas, budgets to address biological invasions should be carefully allocated. Through a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis based on the total economic value framework, we find that current policies were not justified as their net social benefits are negative.




Delgado Castillo, Á., van den Bergh, J. C. J. M., Savin, I., & Sarto i Monteys, V. (2020). Cost-benefit analysis of conservation policy: The red palm weevil in Catalonia, Spain. Ecological Economics, 167.

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