Scientists from German University of Lüneburg explain how biodiversity provides insurance against the uncertain provision of ecosystem services. In fact, this study shows that biodiversity and financial insurance are substitutes.
Stefan Baumgärtner, Uni Lueneburg: I conclude that biodiversity acts as a form of natural insurance for risk-averse ecosystem managers against the over- or under-provision with ecosystem services. Therefore, biodiversity has an insurance value, which is a value component in addition to the usual value arguments, such as direct or indirect use or non-use values. In this respect, biodiversity and financial insurance are substitutes. Hence, the availability, and exact institutional design, of financial insurance influence the level of biodiversity protection.