Biodiversity: Why do we care?

How do different people value biodiversity?

In lecture 3 of our Cons. Sci. course, we learned several different classifications of values. The first of which is intrinsic value, which is finding value independent of human needs or existence. Intrinsic value cannot be defined simply, because it consists of philosophy and ideology, which is a concept that we struggled with during class. It’s hard to value something without considering our own needs and feelings in our egocentric world.

Alternatively, there is instrumental value, which appreciates aesthetic value, monetary value, and scientific value. This type of value seems more pragmatic in conserving biodiversity because it gives people a tangible reason to protect the environment.

For our grandchildren’s sake, there is bequest value, which is value for future generations. Option value, quite similarly, is finding value due to the possibility of needing these ecosystems and biodiversity for use in the future.

In order to support any of these values, it’s evident that we need backing from economists, politicians, and accountants—basically, we need global support to enable conservation values to be acted upon.


The hierarchy of biodiversity values from Aidan’s lecture on valuing biodiversity.

By Group 2 (as a part of our rapid blogging exercise)


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