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Nature: how do you put a price on something that has infinite worth?

By Tom Oliver, Professor of Applied Ecology, University of Reading
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There’s a new nature conservation strategy in town – and it means business. During the 1970s, 80s and 90s the main tactic to protect wildlife was to highlight the plight of charismatic “flagship” species (remember the WWF Save the Panda campaign?). Since the millennium, however, a new strategy backed by major conservation organisations such as The Nature Conservancy is to price the benefits that nature provides.

Not all conservationists agree, as borne out by fierce debates in a major international initiative…

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