Tigers, markets and palm oil: market potential for conservation

Ian J. Bateman, Brendan Fisher, Emily Fitzherbert, David Glew, Robin Naidoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

AbstractIncreasing demand for cooking oil and biofuels has made palm oil, > 80% of which is grown in South-east Asia, the dominant globally traded vegetable oil. However, this region is host to some of the world?s most biodiverse and threatened tropical forests. Strategic engagement with commercial operations is increasingly recognized to be an essential part of the solution for raising funds for conservation initiatives, raising consumer consciousness and potentially stemming environmental degradation. Linking market incentives towards conservation is also of critical importance because it is becoming widely recognized that conservation needs to begin to address the wider countryside (outside protected areas) where human?wildlife interactions are frequent and impacts are large. Using the Sumatran tiger Panthera tigris sumatraeas both a threatened species in its own right and emblematic for wider species diversity, we show that western consumers are willing to pay a significant premium for products using palm oil grown in a manner that reduces impacts on such species. Results suggest that the price premium associated with a ?tiger-friendly? accreditation may provide a useful additional tool to raise conservation funds and, within the right institutional context, serve as an inducement to address the problem of habitat and species loss.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-234
Number of pages5
JournalOryx
Volume44
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Cite this