Cost-benefit analysis for environmental policy making

Cost-benefit analysis for environmental policy making






The Environment is an important area of major concern in the current world. This term encompasses the often fuzzy and unnoticeable boundaries between natural and man-made environments. Issues of concern in this respect ranges from non-human species and ecosystems to those concerned with social and health problems related to demographic issues and the processes of industrialization. In caring for the environment, there is need to consider all the key contexts for decision making and other critical issues.

The natural resource policy making process takes into consideration many factors in making guidelines into effective environment management. Sometimes there arises a conflict between which of the alternatives gives the best framework upon which policy issues can be built. Compared to equity concerns, economic efficiency seems to offer the better platforms upon which these issues can be articulated. This is because of the following factors; it is evident that problems within our environment possess key economic perspectives that need to be given priority in enhancing the social awareness (Nicolaisen, Dean & Hoeller P., 1991). In 1970s the subject of global insufficiency of natural resources were much debated. Currently, countries are now accepting that the economy of the world is slowly progressing towards a crisis in terms of natural resources.

Equity issues have been cited by some quarters with regard to environmental management, specifically on the allocation of costs and benefits. The problem with this approach is that its objectives highly clash with other policy objectives. As a matter of fact, there is an existing trade-off between economic efficiency concerns and equity efficiency issues. This issue brings attention to the whole subject of environmental economics, with the key question of how best it can be considered. One ideal solution that seems of significance is the wider concerns which economic efficiency addresses. Decision making for policy issues should therefore give due preference for economic efficiency over equity considerations


Nicolaisen J. Dean A & Hoeller P., (1991) Economics and the Environment:

A Survey of Issues and Policy Options. Retrieved from; < HYPERLINK “”>