PUBLICATION Journal article

Insurance value of biodiversity in the Anthropocene is the resilience value?

Recently two distinctly different conceptualisations of insurance value of biodiversity/ ecosystems have been developed. The ecosystem framing addresses the full resilience value without singling out subjective risk preferences. Conversely, the economic framing focuses exactly on this subjective value of risk aversion, implying that the insurance value is zero for risk neutral persons. Here we analyse the differences conceptually and empirically, and relate this to the broader socio-cultural dimensions of social-ecological resilience. The uncertainty of the Anthropocene blurs the distinction between subjective/objective. We show that the economic framing has been operationalised only in specific cases while the broader literature on resilience, disaster risk reduction, and nature-based solutions tend to address the full value of resilience. Yet, the empirical literature that relates to insurance value of biodiversity is hardly consistent with resilience theory because the slow underlying variables defining resilience are rarely addressed. We suggest how the empirical literature on insurance value can be better aligned with resilience theory. Since the ecosystem framing of insurance value captures the essence of the resilience, we propose using the concept “resilience value” as it may reduce the present ambiguity in terminology and conceptualisation of insurance value of biodiversity.

Keywords: ecosystem services, General resilience, Insurance value of ecosystems, Natural insurance value, Specified resilience

Hahn, T. et al. 2023. Insurance value of biodiversity in the Anthropocene is the resilience value?. Ecological Economics 208:107799.