Putting a Price on Nature


Generally, nature entails everything that surrounds mankind: animals, plants and other physical features. For some reasons, individuals have found ways to put a dollar value on almost everything that makes up the today’s environment. In this case, several debates have been held or still ongoing trying to figure out the logic that stands between nature and monetary equivalence. Underlying these debates, is the solid fact that conservation, food and climate change have a hand in what makes earth fit for human habitation. To acknowledge all the benefits that come with nature, somehow someway, it’s only fair to properly ensure one good deed is paid with another. This simply means that the ecosystem deserves sustainable reinforcements, which raises the question: What is wrong with putting a price on nature (Conniff, 2012)?

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
Putting a Price on Nature
Just from $13/Page
Order Essay

This paper examines the underlying reasons that correlate nature with a dollar value, drawing much attention to the economists’ perspective about the subject matter.

Nature and Capital Market

The current world is business conscious; every effort is geared towards ultimate profit maximization. Attempts are being made by the corporate world to ensure that the objectives are met as required. To arrive at such a profit level, nature must have played a role or two, which calls for the concept of natural capital. This concept is based on the idea that equates an amount to the precise value that one obtains from the natural processes and ecosystem services. The concept has gained positive reception recently by the economists who peg a lot of relevance to the fact that nature can be capitalized (Conniff, 2012).

The idea about the capital benefits of nature is relative to a point of view. Individuals have got varying understanding of the concept. A pinpointed case that attracted different views is about the rhino horns and clean water system. Poaching is commonly practiced in developing countries, the rhino horns case represent a happening that took place in Kenya. Extracting rhino horns for monetary gains became an out of control case, until some economists argued that legalizing the act would prevent the rhinos from going to extinction. The clean water situation represented a situation where people could enjoy drinking clean water from natural sources by adapting ways that help ensure the water remains clean for human consumption. Surprisingly, some opt to drink contaminated water to avoid spending on water treatments.

Reasons for Putting a Price on Nature

In reference to one Conniff (2012), creation of awareness on matters that protect nature is considered an object of much attention by environmentalists. This is in line with the incredible services that the ecosystem offers due to natural processes- purified air for breathing, crop pollination, and protection from erosion and food, among others. In his research, it has become apparent that the world revolves around nature, and with an ecosystem that is not working as expected, it’s clear that so many things can go wrong. With this in mind, here are reasons why nature should have a price:

Foster Economic growth

Based on the study conducted by Conniff (2012), there are solid grounds that link the economic development to nature. He further argues that nature offers financial gains to the economy basing on the idea that it encompasses the likes of animals and plants that have monetary importance. Therefore, on economic standpoint, these have positive influence on the growing economy. In other words, not paying attention to factors that ensure environmental preservation would certainly drive the economy to a depression.

To Conserve the Environment

Conserving the environment entails putting measures in place to ensure nature and natural processes are preserved. Looking at the benefits derived from nature and ecosystem services, it definitely calls for environmental conservation. A case about global warming and climate change is a good example to illustrate the importance of conserving nature. Here, the objective is to address the issues of climate change. Clearly, the effects of global warming on climate bear its roots on natural processes going wrong as a result of not preserving nature. Emission of gases like carbon monoxide by companies pollutes the air thus causing global warming and finally climate change in the long run. Implementing heavy- burden tax rules on related companies would surface as a way of fixing climate change (Conniff, 2012).

Cynicism about Putting a Price on Nature:

Economic Controversy

The issue about putting monetary value on nature did not gain complete approval by everyone. Some environmentalists are among individuals who taught of this as being absurd.  This is why economic valuation of nature is subject to debate. For some reasons a number of environmentalists are indifferent about the idea of attaching economic importance to nature. They base their argument on the fact that positive reception of nature should be done for the benefit of nature and nothing else. More controversial is the reality that those very environmentalists believe that by attaching economic relevance to nature, it would mean that enterprises would take advantage of the benefits acquisitively (Conniff, 2012).

In his research, Conniff (2012) goes on to clarify that economic valuation of nature correlates with destruction   of the ecosystem in search for economic gains. In order to benefit from economic growth as a result of nature, one requires causing a reduction to a particular existing species, say cutting down of trees for wood and charcoal. This in turn will lead to a different destruction such as soil erosion. On this note, it has been logically reasoned that causing such destruction can amount to a value more than what may come in inform of gains.

Disagreements on the Concept of Natural Capital

The concept about natural capital attracts the downsides of putting a price on nature. This is directly related to some environmentalists’ argument concerning nature being given economic significance. It’s affirmed that the idea of saving more to get more is inapplicable to this case. This means that to get the natural benefits as required, nature has to be protected. By doing this, more finances may be spent, therefore incurring a loss. Additionally, one can benefit more through other business dealings not necessarily through nature (Conniff, 2012).


Whether nature should be priced or not, is still undecided. With different reasons given by both the proposers and opposers of the subject matter, it’s clear that this concern concretely stands up for public criticisms. Nevertheless, this does not dispute the fact that nature and ecosystem services have life changing benefits available to be used by interested parties. All it takes is implementation of ways that will ensure the ecosystem thrives under a number of conservation techniques. Setting light on the bigger picture underlying this issue, it goes to say that putting a price on nature for the benefit of nature itself and the immediate users, is not such a bad initiative.



Conniff, R. (2012). What’s Wrong with Putting a Price on Nature? Retrieved September 30, 2017, from http://e360.yale.edu/features/ecosystem_services_whats_wrong_with_putting_a_price_on_nature








and taste our undisputed quality.