Conversing Biodiversity by Commercialization? A Model Framework for a Market for Genetic Resources
Since naturally occurring genetic information serves as a valuable input for biotechnological R&D, the private provision of genetic resources could generate income for the protection of biodiversity-rich areas. However, there has been a controversy over whether these potential revenues are sufficient to compensate for the costs of protection and, therefore, whether markets for genetic resources can effectively contribute to the conservation of biodiversity. In this paper, a market framework is developed to describe possible market outcomes, each with a different impact on conservation. It turns out that the market-induced incentives to conserve depend on the specific situation on the supply and demand side of the market.