A resource and environmental economics book written for the Pacific: New book launched

16 December 2010 | News story

A new book, Economics of Resource and Environmental Economics Project Management in the Pacific, published by IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature was launched on Thursday December 16 by the Deputy Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Mr Peter Forau.

From the theory of environmental economics to the assessment of projects in the field, this book provides new and specialised case studies to examine the root causes of human actions that lead Pacific Islanders to unsustainably use or degrade their natural resources and links these causes to targeted solutions.

This book has been completed at a time of increasing concerns by Governments, resource owners and others for sustainable use of natural resources to conserve supplies and spread the benefits of resource use to future generations, said Mr Peter Forau when launching the book. He noted that although many projects in the regions have been implemented with all good intensions they often were done without due “recognition for the unique challenges faced by the Pacific” and which have been “.. incongruent with the interests of resource owners and therefore of limited utility for them”.

The book addresses how an understanding of the unique and changing social and economic characteristics of the Pacific islands from an economic perspective can help explain the underlying causes of unsustainable resource uses and help better design resources and environmental management projects as well as influence decision making on improvement of livelihoods and equitable development.

“By understanding the underlying causes of unstainable resource uses and designing appropriate management response, governments and resource owners can increase the effectiveness of their limited human and financial resources and increase the chances of project successes in improving livelihoods and conserving our environmental resources," said Dr. Padma Lal of IUCN and lead author of the new book.

The book, said Mr Forau “is incisive, instructive and full of relevant materials that clarify many hoary areas that might have been the cause of prevailing controversies”.

While intended mainly as a text book the book is also for those with little or no background in economics who are involved or anticipating to develop a career in resource and environmental project management and who maybe seeking answers.

The book contains 16 chapters and took almost five years to complete. 

This document is a true reflection of the spirit of partnership in the Pacific across several organizations. The publication of this book is also a product of contribution from the United Nations Division of Ocean Affairs and the Law of Sea, IUCN, SOPAC, SPREP, USP and the Australian National University,” says Ms Paula Holland, Resource Economist at SOPAC and co-author of the book.

The IUCN Oceania Regional Office is actively engaged in the provision of technical expertise and policy advice on economic and social factors for the conservation of natural resources. “Economic information is essential in conservation work and IUCN will continue to support such work within the Pacific region,” says Bernard O’Callaghan, IUCN Oceania’s Regional Programme Coordinator.

Copies of the book can be obtained from Martina Lee at IUCN’s Regional Office in Suva.


This image shows the courtship behavior of Indian Bull frogs (Holobatrachus tigerinus). During the monsoon, the breeding males become bright yellow in color, while females remain dull. The prominent blue vocal sacs of male produce strong nasal mating call.